Education entrepreneurship, disruption alive and well

Michael Horn:

ImagineK12, an incubator modeled after Y Combinator to help education startups “get it right and get funded,” held its first demo day for its first cohort of 10 companies Sept. 9 in Palo Alto, Calif., and a week later the companies presented at TechCrunch Disrupt.
The companies’ pitches were crisp and intriguing, and I was struck–and encouraged–by how many of them are attempting disruptive strategies. Who knows how many in the cohort will be successful of course–they are all heading into notoriously choppy waters in a space that, as I’ve written about, feels a bit overheated at the moment–but by going this route, they do improve their odds.
Here is a rundown of just some of the things that struck me.
GoalBook: The company’s mission is to create a personal learning plan for every student. So where are they starting? Special education. Why? The law requires students to have individual learning plans (ILPs). Goalbook can create help a teacher and school create these way more affordably–not a bad thing in times of budget cuts when less expensive (think low-end disruption) could be critical to allowing districts to continue to fulfill their legal mandate.