Meet Matt Joyce

July 30th, 2010

Category: News

My name is Matt Joyce and I’m thrilled to join the Rodel Foundation as the newest team member. I’ll be consulting with the foundation and its partnering organizations on strategic planning and new program development.

Before coming to Delaware, my experience was in social enterprise, starting and managing a non-profit fellowship program in Philadelphia called Philly Fellows that brings talented college graduates into the city’s non-profit workforce through an intensive year of service and leadership development. For the past two years I have been at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, as a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship. During that time, I’ve had the opportunity to meet a creative and diverse group of people – many with innovative ideas about how to improve the country’s education system.

In recent years, state and federal programs, as well as private philanthropies, have recognized the potential of this emerging generation of education entrepreneurs. The field has become an increasingly welcoming place for people with bold ideas for school models, teacher recruitment and training, and student assessment and evaluation. Just this month the Kauffman Foundation, a leader in education funding, announced Kauffman Labs – a training ground of sorts for education entrepreneurs. Kauffman Labs joins a growing list of organizations supporting new ventures in education. Groups such as the Mind Trust in Indianapolis, the New Schools Venture Fund in San Francisco, and New Profit, Inc. in Boston are investing significantly in leaders with early- to mid-stage models that have an opportunity to make significant impact.

In just my first week in Delaware, I have been excited to witness the innovative approaches by leaders in education here. With Delaware’s recent Race to the Top (RTTT) victory, the state has gained national attention as a leader in education innovation. The potential of this victory extends well beyond the $119 million federal grant that will support improvement to our schools – it captures the attention of local and national entrepreneurs and sends the message that Delaware is open to new and creative ideas for education. The State has already attracted and integrated national programs such as Teach for America, and its RTTT success will help Delaware court new models for school design and leadership development. Local support organizations such as Innovative Schools are already playing an important role introducing key state stakeholders to world-class education models and are well positioned to help the State successfully implement Delaware’s RTTT goals.

In the coming months I will blog about inspiring entrepreneurs in education – both in-state and out – and describe how they are helping to advance the field.





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