More Momentum Behind Learning Pods
Plus College Mergers & Acquisitions and Behind Teacher Resignations
There‘s more evidence that momentum behind learning pods is lingering.
KaiPod Learning, which started operations last summer and facilitates in-person learning pods, raised $1.5 million in seed funding from strategic investors, including Y Combinator, GSV Ventures, EO Ventures, and Verissimo Ventures, among others.
As I wrote previously, Tyton Partners estimates that 1.5 million children were still enrolled in pods or microschools this fall. Meanwhile, public school enrollment continues to fall in many districts.
How significant are these developments?
Prior to the pandemic in the fall of 2018, 3.3 million students were enrolled in charter schools—or 7 percent of the K–12 student population in the United States. Roughly 5.7 million students were enrolled in private schools in the fall of 2017. Although estimates vary dramatically, homeschoolers numbered around 1.7 million before the pandemic—or 3.3 percent of the schooling population.
In other words, the enrollment in pods and microschools remains significant. If more arrangements with institutions, like KaiPod Learning, behind them gain steam, don’t be surprised to see numbers maintain and even continue to rise.
With a stronger sense of the educational choices that they have, some parents don’t want to give that up. For many students seeking more personalized learning options, they don’t want to give that up either. You can read more here.
Mergers & Acquisitions in Higher Ed
One of the topics that continues to intrigue me is the consolidation of existing colleges and universities.
That’s not just because of my past predictions on the topic. It’s because the ripple effect from the consolidation will impact communities and the paths available to individuals.
Mergers and acquisitions aren’t necessarily a failure for a school. There are important strategic reasons to consolidate with another school, as our latest guest on Future U, Jeff Senese, president of Saint Louis University, shared recently. Saint Louis, located in Florida, recently acquired a college thousands of miles away in California and wants to build a national network of Catholic colleges. Check out the episode here.
Finally, a lot has been written about teacher shortages in K–12 schools. Although there is some evidence that teacher resignations have been overstated when you look across the entire country, it’s also clear that COVID and the great resignation we’re seeing across society has impacted schools.
In our latest episode of Class Disrupted, Diane Tavenner and I dug deeper into why these resignations are different from past years and how we got here. We then asked a series of bigger questions about how the teaching profession is structured and how we might improve the job. Listen here.
For those in the United States, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday filled with moments of gratitude. Thanks as always for reading, listening, and writing.