In 2008, NewSchools launched the first DC Schools Fund with the goal of dramatically improving educational outcomes for students in Washington, DC. Eight years later, we have seen incredible progress. We have surpassed both of our major goals of our most recent Fund: supporting new schools serving 7,500 students, and closing or restarting a number of low-performing schools. Families in DC have more good choices than ever before about where to send their children to school. Even more importantly, the students in the schools we work with are outperforming their DC peers in English and math.
While we’re proud of the success we’ve achieved together, we also know that significant work remains to close the college and career readiness gaps that persist for too many of our students. As we prepare to wrap up the planned investments of the second DC Schools Fund, we have been working with our partners, grantees and funders to determine the best path forward to build on the momentum that the Fund has created and continue improving the availability of excellent public schools options in DC. As a result of these conversations, we are excited to announce the launch of a new independent nonprofit organization that will spin out of NewSchools on July 1: Education Forward DC.
Like NewSchools, Education Forward DC will be a grantmaking organization, investing in and supporting organizations and emerging entrepreneurs citywide— in both district and charter schools. This level of focus will improve access to high-quality school options, to better serve all students and families— especially those children who have been historically underserved.
With the commitment of educators, parents, students and entrepreneurs, DC schools have made important progress over the last few years—but there are still too many students falling through the cracks. Our team at Education Forward DC has set an ambitious goal to double the number of underserved students who are college and career ready over the next five years, with a particular focus on at-risk and special education students.
In the coming months, our team will be working hard to successfully wrap up our work with the DC Schools Fund, and begin the important work of Education Forward DC. Education Forward DC will be led by NewSchools Managing Partner Maura Marino, and the entire DC Schools Fund team will become part of the new organization. We look forward to sharing more soon! To sign up for updates, visit www.edforwarddc.org.