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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

Crossing the Classroom Chasm: Breaking into the Ed sector

“What would you say is the greatest challenge the education sector is facing today?” he asked. I paused for a moment before winding up for what I thought was the interview equivalent of a softball lob, and then answered with, “the lack of financial resources dedicated to education.”“The United States actually spends more per student than any other country,” he said. (The National Center for Education Statistics last reported that the US […] 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

Youth UpRising: Changing a Community, One Young Person at a Time

In the Castlemont neighborhood of East Oakland, one in four people live in poverty. The teenage pregnancy rate is three times the Alameda County average. Homicide is the leading cause of death for residents aged 14-24. These are grim statistics, but there is hope for neighborhood change.A local Castlemont nonprofit, Youth UpRising, is set on revitalizing the neighborhood by investing in its young people. At the Youth UpRising center, youth make music, […] Read more

Seneca Goes “All-In!” on Education

Michael’s school career got off to a rough start. It was only the first week of kindergarten, and he started kicking, biting, and pinching his teacher. His teacher tried every technique she knew to stop him. Not surprisingly, Michael’s teacher resorted to sending him to the principal’s office. Soon, Michael was spending less than 20% of his school day in the classroom. Read more

Live From Summit 2014: Reimagining Urban School Districts

With 95% of public schools students in the United States attending traditional district schools, it is imperative that we find a way to improve school districts more rapidly, especially in urban areas where students are most at risk. Cami Anderson, the Chancellor of Newark Public Schools in New Jersey, and Paul Hill from the Center for Reinventing Public Education discussed options for scaling what works in districts in order to reach our […] Read more

Redesigning School Districts: The Way Forward

“I think charter schools are great, but they only serve a handful of kids. If we’re ever going to really close the achievement gap at scale, we need to focus on the real work of fixing school districts.” How often have charter advocates (like me) heard this response from friends and allies, who believe charters have successfully proven that it’s possible to create high-performing public schools in high-need neighborhoods, but now they need to step aside so that their practices and systems can be taken to scale by enlightened district leaders. 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