When you’re a start-up backed in funding by giants like Mark Zuckerberg and Google Ventures you’ve got a huge responsibility on your shoulders and that responsibility, simply put, is to succeed.
Panorama is one of the start-ups that these behemoths have decided to put their trust in and the onus is on it to not disappoint. Right now, schools put too much emphasis on GPAs and test results, with little or no regard for how the student sees him/herself, how much effort are they putting in, what do they think of their teachers and other important questions. Grades rarely indicate the proper level of a student’s intellect and even when they do, it sure as hell isn’t intentional.
Yale students Aaron Feuer and Xan Tanner saw this as challenge that absolutely had to be overcome and thus Panorama was born. They realized that while grades were important, there were other factors that had to be taken into account as well. Schools that have signed up for their program obtain regular feedback from their students about how safe they feel at school, about how they feel about a certain teacher or a member of staff, and the like.
Just a simple example, schools are generally very interested in dropout rates. From a practical point of view, dropout rates are figures that reflect the situation AFTER the damage has been done. Their main concern is to reduce the number of dropouts but they never look at the corresponding variables. The chances of a student dropping out after his favorite teacher is fired quite obviously sky-rocket, providing other factors also go against him/her. Panorama looks at the important stuff.
Currently active in certain areas of San Francisco, Dallas and Seattle, Panorama is making it easier for schools to hire top-tier teachers and for top-tier firms to distinguish between candidates that fit the bill for any present vacancies. It’s not that spending on education is low. On the contrary the problem is, the useful spending on education is low. Money is being spent on all the wrong areas. Thankfully Panorama is here to at least partially set things straight in the education sector though how it fares over time remains to be seen.