Jonathan Harber has been pushing for innovation in learning long before it became such a necessity during the pandemic. As someone who has started a charter school, as chairman of StartEd Inc, and as a board member of the Fund for Public Schools, he supports a community of innovators looking to find the pain points in education – and solve them. Perhaps nowhere is this more important than in New York City, where a large, diverse student body faces many challenges in getting an equitable education while having to learn remotely. Harber is arguing for, among other things, an innovative approach to repurposing school gyms and cafeterias for distanced learning.
ABOUT OUR GUEST:
Jonathan D. Harber has been a pioneer in education innovation for over 25 years. As an entrepreneur, CEO, investor, board member, consultant, and professor, he has worked to advance the field.
Jonathan was previously the CEO and co-founder of Schoolnet, Inc., a company that helped school systems use data and assessment to increase academic achievement. Following Schoolnet’s acquisition, Harber served as CEO of Pearson K12 Technology, including PowerSchool, SchoolNet, and other technology platforms serving over 25 million students.
As an Adjunct Professor at NYU, he teaches entrepreneurship in education. Harber co-founded StartEd Companies, a public-benefits corporation aiming to galvanize the ecosystem of education innovation – and to develop edtech entrepreneurs. StartEd produces Accelerators – boot camps for early stage companies – and EDTECH WEEK – a global festival for education innovation.
Harber serves on the Board of Directors of The Fund for Public Schools, an organization dedicated to building public-private partnerships in support of the New York City Department of Education. Jonathan is the founding Chairman of the Launch Expeditionary Learning Charter School in Brooklyn providing an education rooted in project-based active learning and character development for underserved children. Recently, Jonathan joined the board of the Infectious Disease Council whose goal is to help businesses and institutions get back to work and school, while dealing with the new normal of infectious disease prevention and control.
Harber serves on PE and VC backed private company boards including Finalsite, the marketing and communications platform for schools, and Synapse, creating tools for Learning and Design organizations.
He received his master’s degree from MIT and completed a joint thesis on education technology between the MIT Sloan School of Management and the MIT Media Lab. He completed his undergraduate degree with honors in Cognitive Science from Wesleyan University.
He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and three children.
LINKS RELATED TO THIS EPISODE:
- Follow Jonathan D. Harber on Twitter
- Follow StartEd on Twitter
- Learn more about StartEd Companies
- Read more from Jonathan D. Harber in New York Daily News: Reimagine schools to reopen them: Transform gyms and cafeterias to allow ‘distance learning’ in kids’ current buildings
- Bklyner: Principals To DOE: We Cannot Safely Reopen Schools For In Person Learning On September 10
- The City: NYC Scrambles to Find New School Space as Cuomo Gives Go-Ahead for Classes
- The City: Principals and Teachers Call on de Blasio to Delay the Start of In-Person School
- Gothamist: NYC Teachers And Principals Unions Call For Postponing In-Person School Reopening
- CNN: A California superintendent has a plan to bring students back to the classroom — but not their teachers