"Amidst graduates from some of the best high schools around the world, I was struck by the intelligence that surrounded me. Yet, I felt better prepared for school and life at Columbia. While they had no problem taking notes in lectures or studying for exams, in seminars where deep learning happens at college and when relationships are formed with professors I found myself speaking up on the literature, proposing questions and interacting with texts while they worked to feel comfortable doing so."
Portfolio has set out to offer an answer for schools with a reimagined vision of learning and operations enabling us to produce a far better product at a far lower cost, enabling us to mitigate the risks of being new while offering a world class experience for our learners.
At Portfolio rather than asking children what they want to be when they grow up, we’ll be asking, “what problem do you want to solve right now?”
Katy Kasmai, our advisor, talks about her organization, Exponential Education, where the goal is to have kids work on big ideas.
How we explain reality to ourselves is a construction with many parts. We gather knowledge and generate meaning through our experiences and traditions; from what we learn in school, at work and at home.
I wouldn’t bring my 19 month-old son, Eli, to a pediatrician who, for some reason, only used medical methods from the late 19th century. So why would I want to enroll him in a school whose methods have pretty much not changed since the late 19th century?
In the 1999 film The Matrix the main character, Neo, is given a choice by Morpheus, an elusive figure for whom Neo has been searching. Embrace reality or don’t.
I’ve spent my career in managing engineering teams in small and large companies. The startup I cofounded grew from just the two founders to ninety five people before it got acquired by Intel in 2013. At Intel, I was managing a team of nearly one hundred and thirty engineers spread globally across four regions.
I’m a technologist by training and experience. I worked in Silicon Valley for a number of years before moving out to the east coast for my PhD. In 2009, after finishing my doctoral work in engineering, a good friend of mine and I started a company, Kno Inc, in education technology (commonly referred to as ed-tech).
The story begins with a conversation I had with my friend’s daughter, Sania (10), who attends the Khan Lab School in Mountain View California. She and her older sister, Aisha (13), both had trouble with math and didn’t enjoy the subject.