Our City Funds aim to drive impact for students in specific communities. Drawing expertise from what we have learned over time through our investments in innovative entrepreneurial organizations, our City Funds seek to replicate some of the highest-impact work. The goal of NewSchools’ City Funds is to support the growth of entrepreneurial organizations that improve education in specific low-income communities, particularly via a thriving sector of high-performing public charter schools. We are currently operating City Funds in Washington, DC, Newark, NJ, Boston, MA and Oakland, CA.
NewSchools’ DC Schools Fund II’s (DCSF II) goal is to double the capacity of quality charter seats in DC and catalyze a shift in the market towards 50% quality charter seats. That means creating 7,500 new high quality charter school seats while closing 5,000 low- and mid-performing seats.
DCSF II’s strategy comprises three key investment areas:
Growing Excellence: Increase the capacity of local high-performing schools and networks to scale up, and support new charter schools to launch with quality from day one.
Human Capital: Invest in human capital to build a strong talent pool, particularly in school leadership, to enable school growth.
Advocacy & Strategic Leadership: Cultivate an environment in which low-performing schools are closed and high-performing schools have a clear path to replication by building strategic leadership.
Launched in January 2013, the DCSF II will operate for five years.
NewSchools’ Boston Charter School Replication Fund (the Boston Fund) was created to ensure the successful expansion of high-performing charter schools in order to increase the number of students they can serve. Our investment plan concentrates resources on seven of the most promising, highest-performing charter school operators in Boston, including City on a Hill, Edward W. Brooke Charter School, Excel Academy, KIPP Academy, MATCH Charter School, Roxbury Prep, and Unlocking Potential.
If these schools continue to perform at their current levels as they grow to larger scale, their success will have a significant impact on the overall achievement gap in Boston. At a student level, this means new opportunity and hope for thousands of high-need children in Boston, by preparing them for success in college and beyond. At a policy level, we expect that the replication of these world-class schools will help to accelerate reform within the Boston public Schools (BPS), while leading to more effective collaboration between BPS and the charter sector. By helping these emerging school networks achieve larger scale and impact, we hope to create a proof point of unprecedented excellence in urban education that will have a catalytic effect on the broader public education system throughout Massachusetts and beyond.
With our Oakland City Fund, NewSchools hopes to leverage the power of community engagement and entrepreneurship to ensure all students throughout the city have access to excellent public schools.
Specifically, our three major investment areas are:
- Community Information and Mobilization: Parents and the general public need timely and accurate information about public schools. Community engagement is essential to ensure continuity of progress through leadership transitions that are inevitable in public education. We will invest in organizations that raise community awareness of public education metrics and goals, and support families, educators and community members in playing a more active role in shaping the policies and practices that affect student outcomes.
- High Quality Schools: Oakland is blessed with some excellent public schools, and we want all students have the opportunity to attend safe, caring, and academically high performing schools. We will invest in organizations that will help double the number of high quality seats.
- Talent: Highly trained and well-supported educators and leaders will create nurturing and effective learning environments for our students. We will invest in organizations that will help develop new teachers, teacher leaders, site leaders and system leaders.