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Reimagining School with New Classrooms’ Chris Rush: “The Hole in the Middle”

December 4, 2019 NGLC

New Classrooms Innovation Partners designs and collaborates with schools to implement innovative learning models. Our organization recently published The Iceberg Problem, a report on the problem of unfinished learning in middle school math.

Amid the holiday season, New Classrooms Chief Program Officer Chris Rush shared some reflections on the thinking that drives these efforts—and why he stays at it.

What do you see as the key factors or inflection points in your life that led you to establish New Classrooms?

My dad was a math teacher. My wife was a math teacher. I used to teach Earth Sciences at a nature center outside of Philadelphia, so this has always been my world. I worked on a few tech startups during the 90s—in one case, we used to make the CDs that came in the back of textbooks. Once I stepped down as head teacher at the nature center, I worked at IBM for five years. But I missed the education side of things and ultimately discovered the world of ed tech. I eventually wound up at the New York City DOE, where I met Joel (Joel Rose, co-founder of New Classrooms). We ended up engaging in a public-private partnership to start School of One, and the chancellor (Joel Klein of New York City Public Schools) suggested we spin it out into something larger. So we did.

Read the entire Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) interview here.