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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

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

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

Charter Restarts: Enforcing Charter School Accountability

In its nine years, Harlem Day Charter School had seen nine principals at the helm. Despite these principals’ efforts, only a quarter of the students scored proficient on the state math exam, and even fewer on the reading. In a honorable and necessary move, Harlem Day’s Board Chair, Ben Lambert, called the state authorizer with a plan to heed his commitment and obligation of providing a quality school choice to Harlem Day’s students. His plan: replace the entire board (himself included) and turn the school over to a high performing charter operator, Democracy Prep. Harlem Day’s authorizer, The State University of New York (SUNY), agreed, and Harlem Day soon became Harlem Prep. Read more