By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In the fall of 2011, a group of mechanical engineers, architects, ethnographers, communications designers and educators, all employees of Ideo, known for designing laptop computers and the first Apple mouse, began designing a network of low cost private schools.

Hired by Carlos Rodriguez-Pastor, a Peruvian business man who wanted to address the country’s low academic standing for an emerging middle class at an affordable price with tuition of about $130 monthly. He wanted the system to be financially profitable growing to 200 schools.

A New York Times article describes the collaboration that made the Innova Project work in developing a model that relies on independent technology-driven learning and teacher-directed group learning.

In the three years since Innova was designed, 28 schools have served 13,500 students with 61% of 2nd graders reaching proficiency compared to a national average of 17%.

A project to watch.

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