Moving Innovation in Education Forward
Arne Duncan

Unicorn-valuations happen when there is a clear market for the product they’re building. (Clear Market = desire + ability to spend $ here vs. somewhere else + actual available $ to spend) It is this last variable that impedes Unicorns in education.
Public School budgets have little discretion in them — most $ are locked in and hard to shift. A significant percentage of edu-innovation “replaces” textbooks (cheaper, more effective digital content, supplanting current products), but taking $ away from Pearson/HMH is pretty much impossible.
Secretary Duncan — if you really want ed-U-corns, then we need to unlock/de-entrench the “scalable” spending capacity that exists in those state/local/district budgets, and enable the schools to participate in the future…