News + Ideas

The Broad Foundation Awards $5 Million to NewSchools Venture Fund

SAN FRANCISCO – May 21, 2007 — NewSchools Venture Fund announced today that they have been awarded a new $5 million grant from The Broad Foundation. The funds will be used by NewSchools to continue to effect dramatic change in public education – particularly in urban areas where public school students have historically been underserved – by investing in public charter school management organizations and other entrepreneurial ventures working to increase the number and quality of public charter schools nationwide. In particular, NewSchools focuses its investments in Chicago, New York City, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and Oakland, California.

“Entrepreneurs backed by NewSchools are proving that all children can meet high standards if given the right tools and the right environment,” said Ted Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer of NewSchools Venture Fund. “We are grateful for The Broad Foundation’s partnership in the difficult yet important work of closing the achievement gap that has, for too long, devastated our nation’s most underserved communities.”

Founded in 1998, NewSchools Venture Fund is a nonprofit venture philanthropy firm that has raised more than $100 million to support new entrepreneurial organizations that have the potential to improve and transform public education. This funding has helped to build more than 30 nonprofit and for-profit entrepreneurial education organizations in urban areas across the country, including New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, and Oakland.

The Broad Foundation has been a supporter of NewSchools’ work since 2002, when it committed $10.5 million to the organization’s first efforts to increase the scale and quality of the charter school movement through, among other things, developing 16 nonprofit systems of charter schools called “charter management organizations” or CMOs. These CMOs have since developed more than 100 new schools that are having a measurable impact on nearly 30,000 students nationwide.

For example, during the 2005-2006 school year, elementary and middle school students in NewSchools-supported CMOs performed 41 percent better in reading and 27 percent better in math than their low-income peers in the surrounding district. At the high school level, these students outperformed their district peers by 69 percent in reading and 74 percent in math.

“With so many students in America today leaving high school unprepared for life, we need to dramatically improve our public education system,” said Eli Broad, founder of The Broad Foundation. “Not all public charter schools are equal, but New Schools Venture Fund presents a strong investment opportunity because it identifies high-quality public charter programs with demonstrated, measurable results in improving student achievement.”

Other foundations that have joined The Broad Foundation in supporting NewSchools Venture Fund’s current efforts include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation and the James Irvine Foundation.

Undertaking what is now its third wave of investment in successful, entrepreneurial endeavors in public education, NewSchools will strengthen the CMOs in its current portfolio as they continue to grow to scale. In addition, NewSchools will develop new organizational models that address outstanding needs faced by both charter and traditional public schools. These include charter school support organizations, emerging technology and professional development solutions designed to facilitate the use and usefulness of ongoing student assessments, alternative pathways into teaching and administration, and new strategies for turning around failing schools.

About NewSchools Venture Fund

NewSchools Venture Fund is a venture philanthropy firm founded in 1998 that is working to transform public education by supporting education entrepreneurs and connecting their work to systems change. Through its first two funds, NewSchools invested more than $70 million in 30 entrepreneurial ventures that have made a measurable difference in the lives of millions of students across the country. Its third fund will focus on fueling the growth and quality of the charter school movement and on supporting the people, tools and practices needed for public school systems to become performance-driven organizations.

About The Broad Foundation

The Broad Foundation is a Los Angeles-based venture philanthropic organization established in 1999 by Eli and Edythe Broad. Mr. Broad is a renowned business leader who founded two Fortune 500 companies, SunAmerica Inc. and KB Home. The Foundation’s mission is to dramatically improve urban K-12 public education through better governance, management, labor relations and competition.

Media Contacts

Julie Petersen, NewSchools Venture Fund
415-615-6863
jpetersen@newschools.org

Erica Lepping, The Broad Foundation
310.954.5053
elepping@broadfoundation.org