Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 28, 2012.


Three teachers tour the U.S. learning and sharing best practices from America's best teachers and then open a new public school.


**THANKS TO YOU, WE REACHED OUR INITIAL GOAL, BUT WE ARE JUST GETTING STARTED** Our mission remains to showcase good teaching across the 50 states. The more schools we visit, the more content we can share with the country and the bigger our impact can be.

The Odyssey Initiative is fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your contributions are 100% tax deductible.

What is it about Rebecca Mieliwocki's 7th Grade English Class that led her to be named National Teacher of the Year?

How did a teacher collaboration program at the struggling Sparks Middle School in La Puente, CA not just save the school from being shut down but ultimately lead to a No. 1 ranking among peer schools?


PSFK Featured Article on OI!  

Liz Dwyer, Education Editor at GOOD

Arizona Principal Jarrett Sharp : "I know that there are vivid educational success stories to be told, and frankly we aren’t telling them in effective ways. OI doubles down by celebrating triumphant success in one place and empowering decision makers to replicate that success in the policy and political arenas. True recognition comes from sharing and replicating success, OI’s making this happen."   

The New York Times

Join us on a journey of discovery…

On September 4th, 2012, three experienced teachers will launch The Odyssey Initiative, an expedition across the 50 states to observe, document, and share what is already working in American schools. For 35 weeks, we will visit America's best schools, interview America's best teachers and observe their best practices to create a free and open educational resource for everyone to use and to improve education for all children.

Then, we will take what we find to help us build a brand new public school in Brooklyn, New York.

We will explore the questions above and many others, sharing our discoveries with you on our interactive website full of free, multimedia offerings from school tours and personal meetings in each state. Our backers will get exclusive insights into our research via podcasts, webcasts and video of lessons and interviews. They will also get VIP access during our town hall meetings with educators, parents and students. This will allow backers to hear about successes directly from the stakeholders. Take a look at all of the rewards our backers will receive on the right side of our page. ----->

It is no secret that the American education system is in crisis. But, the solutions to the challenges are already here - our best teachers in great schools across the country provide them every day through innovative and inspiring teaching. We believe we can transform the American education system from within. All we need is access to what great teachers are already doing in classrooms across America.

After our research is complete, we will use our findings to help create an amazing, new, public K-8 school to be opened in 2014 in Brooklyn, New York. Don't worry! Our dynamic web platform will live on, as we document how we modified and leveraged practices from America's best schools to appropriately meet the needs of the children in the community we are serving.

We can all benefit from a little learning. It is important that our country recognize how creatively and strategically teachers think and plan. Our research will help to inform the public about the many successes that educators are having while supporting the growth of a high-quality teacher workforce.

To learn more about us, visit our website, read the NYTimes op/ed that helped start it all and a recent Times article about our visit with Brooklyn parents to hear what they want for their children.


Every Kickstarter campaign must be fully funded before its time expires or no money changes hands.  Only after we reach our funding deadline (late July), and only if we reach our target will your credit card or debit card be charged. When you give to a campaign, you are called a "backer". Once you back us, we will be in touch with you about where to send your tax documentation and your rewards. Our website and listserv are also good ways to find out how we are progressing as well as to find out how to reach us should you need to.


Your contributions will help cover expenses related to travel, documentation of research, development of our web platform and administrative costs AND they are 100% tax deductible!

PLEASE NOTE: Our budget is much greater than our Kickstarter goal.


Participate in our conversation about what good schools are already doing so that we can help all children get access to the best education possible. Help us celebrate great teachers and make them stars.

                           THE ODYSSEY BEGINS SEPTEMBER 4, 2012


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    Your Name on our VIRTUAL WALL OF DONORS.

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    Exclusive, sneak preview access to dispatches from the field, via video-blogs and podcasts, and your Name on our VIRTUAL WALL OF DONORS.

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    Receive exclusive, backer-only access to our entire PHOTO LOG from the school and state visits. Receive every picture we took during our tour of America's best schools and their communities and everything above.

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    Receive a POSTCARD from one of us with a personal story about a school visit from a state of your choosing. No one else will hear this story ever. Really they won't. You will also receive everything above.

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    "Director's Cut" - Exclusive Access to the "B-sides": the FOOTAGE FROM THE FIELD that we could not put on our website and everything above.

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    Limited edition copy of the "making of" documentary about our journey produced by award winning producer Erin Essenmacher ( and everything above.

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    TWO TICKETS to all of our local events (town hall meetings and fundraisers) across the country including numerous events in New York City and VIP access to panelists (educators, parents and students) and everything above.

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    PERSONAL VIDEO-CONFERENCE with the OI team to hear about our experiences on the road and everything above.

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    SITE VISIT: Join us on a visit to a school of your choosing (from our Calendar- certain financial restrictions apply) and everything above.

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    PERSONAL MEETING with the entire team to hear about our discoveries in the field. Can be held VIRTUALLY, or IN PERSON. Invite your friends over, and we will come to your house for a larger gathering/presentation when we are in your state. You also receive a Postcard from the field, a personal copy of the "making of" documentary, Two Tickets to all local events, exclusive access to our Video B-Sides, Video-blogs, Podcasts, Photo Log and your name on our Virtual Wall of Donors.

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Funding period

- (60 days)