Hot Off The Press: Official Graide Network Launch!

New Education Startup to Connect Middle- and High-School Teachers to Remote Grading Aides

The Graide Network Brings the Power of the Sharing Economy to Education

Chicago, IL, September 1, 2016 – Teachers know that a robust feedback loop engages students and accelerates learning. But grading assignments can burn out even the best educators. A new education startup, The Graide Network, aims to change that by connecting teachers with remote, qualified grading aides, freeing up teachers to focus their time and attention on creating innovative lessons and delivering differentiated instruction based on the data returned. After a successful pilot program in the 2015-16 school year, The Graide Network announced today that it will expand its services to teachers around the country this fall.

The Graide Network’s remote teaching assistants — or “Graiders” — are undergraduate education majors from top universities across the country seeking fieldwork experience with veteran teachers. With the support of a Graider, teachers can expect an 88% reduction in time spent grading while maintaining a deep understanding of student progress and performance.

“By tapping the talent and passion of aspiring teachers on college campuses across the country, we can exponentially increase the efficiency of in-service teachers while simultaneously enriching the development of future educators. It’s a win for students across the board,” said Blair Pircon, The Graide Network Founder and CEO.

Pircon, an education research analyst, and Chen Liu, a former high school teacher, founded The Graide Network from firsthand experience with the grading paradox: feedback is essential to student learning and achievement, yet the time it takes to give every student meaningful direction is prohibitive, even for the most seasoned teachers. While other solutions have resorted to using artificial intelligence (AI) or digital tools to lighten the grading load for teachers, The Graide Network facilitates human feedback from a Graider who is knowledgeable in the subject area and trained in education methodology and best practices.

Nine out of ten teachers who participated in The Graide Network’s 2015-16 pilot program reported they were highly likely to recommend The Graide Network to a friend or colleague. Teachers also noted their increased ability to prioritize lesson planning and higher rates of student engagement.

“In a classroom where urgency to build college ready skills is as high as ours, The Graide Network has proven to be invaluable. This increase in feedback has allowed me to hone in on specific issues within [student] writing and correct it with expediency. The end effect of this extra feedback is that I can move through more skills at a rapid rate,” said Tim Adams, a U.S. history teacher in Chicago, IL.

Teachers and potential Graiders can learn more about The Graide Network by visiting


About The Graide Network
The Graide Network  launched in June 2015 and got its start through incubation programs at LEAP Innovations in Chicago, IL and The Garage, Northwestern University’s startup hub. They have since been a part of a number of prestigious programs, including the AT&T Aspire Accelerator, the Camelback Ventures fellowship, and the WiSTEM cohort at 1871.  The Graide Network tied for first place at the 2016 Northwestern University Venture Challenge, the first education company and all-female team to win the competition, as well as winning the NewDay Social Impact Award in 2015 and 2016.

Media Contact
Liz Nell