• Daniel Greenwald

American Education is a Mess. I Created Pipeline Alliance to Shift it.

Updated: Aug 2, 2018

New technology, improved global communication, and innovation are fueling a massive sea change in the way we all live. Pillars of American society — like banking and healthcare — are in the midst of “big bang disruptions”: complete revolutions of the standards, tools, and processes that have defined these industries for decades.

And yet, the American education system is not all that different from when my parents got their education in the 40’s and 50’s. There’s been incremental progress. Charter Schools are pushing the boundaries of public education. The Schools of Today are better equipped for personalized learning and to identify and educate children with disabilities. The “digital divide” — the gap between schools with and without access to technology — is narrowing steadily.

Education is not stagnant. But the core model for teaching and learning in the United States is adapting to the modern world at a glacial pace.

I am allergic to education jargon and the silos it often creates. I’m weary of “edtech” as a focus, mainly because it’s now a catch-all that means everything and nothing to different stakeholders, I’m not excited about throwing every kid an iPad equipped with the best AI, churning the prettiest data that syncs perfectly with any teacher organizational tool. I’m excited about the craft of education.

I’m interested in a complete shift in the model that supports the way people learn and teach.

Technology will always be an integral part of our American education. It needs to go further. Technology, the internet, and our attention economy are blurring the lines between the formal and informal classroom. There are new ways and opportunities to learn that aren’t just better: they’re critical for our kids to succeed.

We’re failing to prepare today’s young people for their futures, which — let’s not forget — is our future, too. As a father to two boys in a great school, it’s a problem I think about everyday. I’m not concerned about trailing test scores, lower rates of college attendance or stack ranking our kids against other countries. The problem is bigger than reading or math scores. It’s about an entire system evolving to prepare people (kids) for the demands of the modern world (check out Katie Martin’s TEDx Talk).

The opportunity is now! Today education is in a state of opportunistic chaos. We’re at the brink of a massive shift fueled by the tech revolution. Brilliant minds hunger for change, driven by a growing frustration from educators and the general public. Courageous entrepreneurs keep innovating and the philanthropists and investors step-up with wisdom and funds. There is no shortage of passionate people leading the charge.

As we climb this mountain of American education, I’m drawn to where the craft of teaching meets the business of education. It is here where I plant the flag of Pipeline Alliance and we find a select group of business leaders aiming to grow profits, and by doing so, crack the code for advancing education. As with most endeavors on this mountain, success isn’t easy and variables are constantly being stacked against them. However, it's specifically here where some of the biggest shifts in education will be made.

I’ve launched Pipeline Alliance: a united group of education-focused companies, philanthropists, and thinkers brought together to cultivate new ideas, grow profits, and drive America toward a better education model.

What Exactly is Pipeline Alliance?

There are two components.

  1. We are a network of media innovators, sales analysts, knowledge brokers and leaders across education who work with leaders of companies impacting education to uncover their story, champion their brand, and put them on a path for personal and professional growth. That is hands-on collaboration to establish growth targets and realign sales strategies, tools, and processes to hit those targets.

  2. We are a collective. A hive of seemingly-disparate companies and freelancers all working to improve the model for American education. We collaborate, share ideas and resources, establish partnerships, and broker knowledge all under the umbrella of Pipeline Alliance.

Education should be highly innovative and expansive! But it needs a united group like Pipeline Alliance to clear or at times create the path for the leaders and their companies to transform the system via growing profits.

Our upcoming content focus is two-pronged. We aim to celebrate the transformation shifting American education, while also highlighting some of the opportunistic chaos innovators are taking advantage of. We welcome ideas and synergies.

ASK: If you stand with us in believing education is a mess in need of a massive shift, share this post in your newsfeed to get the word out or tag someone below who you think needs to know about us or reach out to with your thoughts.