Legions of people have had their lives changed, indelibly and profoundly, by a single book. Tonika Cheek Clayton had hers shaped by a book she couldn’t lay her hands on.

When she was a senior at Houston’s Booker T. Washington High School for the Engineering Professions in the mid-nineties, Cheek Clayton tackled AP Physics—without a textbook. “We had maybe six old, 1970-something books we were sharing,” Cheek Clayton remembers. “I was outraged. How were we supposed to take AP Physics at an engineering high school and we didn’t even have books?” When she enrolled at Harvard a year later, she became even more appalled by the inequity. “When I saw what I was up against and who I was competing with and the lack of preparation I had relative to kids who went to private schools, I felt like this is just ridiculous,” she says.

Why can’t we do better? Every student in every school deserves to have an excellent preparation.”

That missing textbook has propelled Cheek Clayton into her current role as a managing partner at NewSchools Venture Fund, where she oversees a team responsible for finding, funding, and helping to develop new technology tools that can level the educational playing field. EdSurge recently spoke with Cheek Clayton about her work at NewSchools.

Read the source article at NewSchools Venture Fund