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Growing the Nation’s Best Charter Sector

In 2011, NewSchools Venture Fund launched its four-year, $12 million Boston Charter School Replication Fund. Led by Jim Peyser, the Boston Fund has helped double the size of the nation’s highest-performing charter sector: by 2020, the Boston charter sector will serve nearly 11,000 students and one in four middle schoolers. Meanwhile, we have focused on building an ecosystem that can support the ongoing growth of quality schools.In order to capture the work […] Read more

Celebrating STEM Standouts in Boston: The Akamai Scholars Program

Tuesday was a special day in Boston.  NewSchools, in partnership with Akamai, held its annual Akamai Scholars Program to honor top 8th grade STEM scholars in high-quality charter school networks citywide.  The 12 students represent six growing charter networks in Boston that have been supported by NewSchools: Brooke Charter Schools, Excel Academy Charter Schools, KIPP Massachusetts, Match Education, Roxbury Preparatory Charter School, and UP Education Network.These STEM scholars are impressive.  They regularly […] Read more

Boston Charter Schools: Great Places to Teach and Learn

In 2013, the Boston charter school sector received significant attention for its strong academic performance after the release of two important studies. A CREDO study found that students in Boston charter schools gain an additional 12 months of learning in reading and 13 months of learning in math than their district school peers. These findings were reinforced by a study from MIT, supported by NewSchools, which documented that charter students are outperforming […] Read more

The School Organizations in Our Portfolio are Growing!

NewSchools is celebrating the opening of new charter school campuses in Washington, DC, Newark, NJ and Boston, MA. We support the growth of entrepreneur led education organizations in each of these cities through our City Funds.Boston Fund: Four New CampusesKIPP MA | KIPP Academy Boston Elementary | K-41 New Campus | Total Campuses: 5Match Education | Match Next Middle School | 5-81 New Campus | Total Campuses: 3UP Education Network | UP Academy Holland | K-81 New Campus | Total Campuses: […] Read more

Brooke Breaks New Ground in Student Achievement

Students at Brooke Charter Schools are 98% black and Latino. Across Brooke’s three Boston campuses, 80% of students qualify for free or reduced price lunches, indicating their families are close to the federal poverty line.Skeptics argue that economic disadvantages, like the disadvantages faced by the students at Brooke, account for intractable gaps in academic performance between blacks and Latinos and students from white and Asian backgrounds. Brooke shows that this achievement gap […] Read more

UP Shakes Up District Instruction

In 2008, Scott Given left his position as Principal at Excel Academy Charter School in East Boston, Massachusetts. Like many other entrepreneurs, Given left his job to pursue a big idea – to bring the best practices of high-performing charter schools like Excel Academy into district schools. Given’s vision was striking because of the significantly different contexts in which school districts and the charter sector operate. According to conventional wisdom, the district […] Read more

Boston Charter Schools: A Limited Opportunity

Andys is one of an increasing number of English language learners (ELLs) who have chosen to enroll in charter schools. Research shows that charter schools serve ELLs and other students with special needs more effectively. However, many students are unable to access the higher quality of services that these schools provide because of the Massachusetts charter cap. It’s time to lift the cap on charter schools so that more students, and particularly those with the highest levels of need, can attend the best schools. Read more

The Changing Boston Charter Cap Scene

The political dynamic in the city is about to change, however, as long-serving Mayor Thomas Menino moves toward retirement at the end of 2013. Menino opposes charter school growth. Boston is a Mayoral control city, where the Mayor gets to appoint the school committee, which in turn appoints and oversees the schools superintendent. Boston’s superintendent Carol Johnson stepped down this summer, so the new Mayor will be instrumental in appointing a new superintendent at the outset of his or her first term. A strongly pro-charter Mayor could also wield significant influence over the state legislature in lifting the charter cap, at least in Boston. Read more