Monday, May 18, 2009

Conference Shut out

Tonight I head to the New Schools Venture Fund conference in Los Angeles where I will hear about great education entrepreneurs and how they can impact today’s students. I do look forward to the networking that will be involved but get tired of hearing about the same few entrepreneurs at every conference – KIPP, TFA, TNTP and New Leaders. Many of these conferences lament the fact that there are not more entrepreneurs in education and yet they can only bring these same people on stage to talk about why. They never seem to realize that they are creating the classic self-fulfilling prophecy. Funders only fund what they hear about and they only hear about the few education entrepreneurs out there because they are the only ones allowed to present.

Unless you somehow missed my subtle rant – I am whining that ABCTE is still left behind in the education space. We have never been deemed worthy enough to make it to the dais of the education world in spite of solid data, the most cost effective and scaleable teacher recruitment model and incredible progress. I guess it is not entrepreneurial enough to take a program to self-sufficiency in the non-profit world.

So we will continue to attend the conferences in the audience and participate as a “funding stalker” at the breaks and use every opportunity to let people know there are other education groups out here making a difference.

You just wouldn’t know it from the conference presenter list.

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