In 2010 New York City’s Department of Education launched the Innovation Zone (iZone) - probably the most ambitious and strategic system transformation currently being attempted in education.
The aim of iZone is to help more than four hundred schools design, develop, evaluate, and scale radical new models of education. The iZone schools are adopting new approaches to instruction, using online courses, adaptive technologies, and real-time data to help teachers create more targeted lessons.
They will make better use of time, allowing for more flexible approaches to scheduling that extend learning throughout the school day and year. A smaller number of schools will modify teacher roles, increasing the flexibility of staffing.
Nesta hosted an event to learn from John White, architect of the New York School system’s innovation strategy. John White was Deputy Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education.
Under his direction, New York City cemented its place among the world’s leading incubators of innovation in education. John oversaw dramatic improvements - since 2005 graduation rates have increased 15 percentage points and the number of students attending local colleges has nearly doubled.
John’s approach was not simply focused on school improvement but radical transformation of the US’s largest school system of more than one million students.
This event was chaired by Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive Officer of Nesta. Also on the panel were David Albury, Board Director of Innovation Unit and former Principal Adviser in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit.