From time to time, we'll share news of key partnerships or customer wins and the "lessons learned" that came with clinching the deal. It's not just about the PR--it's about improving everyone's understanding of how the market works.
BloomBoard in CO: BloomBoard said this week that
the Colorado Legacy Foundation, working with the Colorado Department of
Education (DoE), will use its software platform for doing a pilot program doing
teacher and principal evaluations. Nice win for Bloomboard, which has struck similar deals in New Jersey, Indiana and with a couple of charter management organizations.
BloomBoard founder, Jason Lange, says
his company aims to help states fulfill legal obligations--say, federal mandates around Race To The Top or state legislation. It's a smart strategy: states are eager to find ways to meet their obligations. And in times of tight budgets, the least expensive, the better.
BloomBoard's pitch: use its platform for free (and meet the compliance requirements). In return, BloomBoard collects data about areas where teachers need more--and better--professional development. BloomBoard creates a "heat map" of the district's needs and can then help connect the district to the most appropriate professional development services via its PD "marketplace." Lange reports the deal was inked in less than 60 days. The approach seems to be working: in addition to Colorado, New Jersey, Indiana, and several charter school networks have signed up.
Lesson learned: Focus on where the states are legally obliged to comply with regulations. "We want to help them solve compliance issues and create value for teachers" says Lange, aiming to turn measures of teacher and principal effectiveness from a punitive experience into a positive, professional development moment.