SAN FRANCISCO – September 8, 2009 – NewSchools Venture Fund today announced an investment of $1.7 million in Success Charter Network (SCN), a nonprofit charter management organization founded in 2006 that provides an outstanding elementary education to low-income students in New York City. This funding will help SCN expand its efforts to prove that all students can perform at high levels. By 2014, SCN anticipates operating 13 schools, serving more than 6,300 students in grades K through 8.
“Success Charter Network’s work in New York City is proving that you can successfully replicate rigorous academic programs and strong school cultures across multiple campuses,” said Jim Peyser, Partner at NewSchools. “NewSchools looks forward to supporting these efforts as SCN expands to reach more students and works to close the achievement gap in Harlem and beyond.”
Charter management organizations (CMOs) operate networks of public charter schools. Success Charter Network currently operates four elementary charter schools in Harlem – three of which opened in August 2009. All of these schools are based on the high-performing model of SCN’s flagship, Harlem Success Academy (HSA), which opened in 2006 and emphasizes academic success and a focus on college graduation. Teachers assess student progress on a frequent basis to ensure that they do not fall behind, and SCN works to purposefully and actively engage parents in the daily activities of the schools. SCN has also worked to give parents throughout Harlem a public voice in expanding and improving their educational options.
Success Charter Network has demonstrated outstanding results in serving high-need students. One hundred percent of Harlem Success Academy’s third graders scored proficient or above on this year’s state math assessment, with 71% scoring in the highest performance category– ranking HSA first among all public charter schools in New York State and tenth out of all public schools in New York City in third-grade math performance. Ninety-five percent of HSA’s third-graders scored proficient or above on the state English exams; by comparison, only about 56 percent of pupils in District 5, which includes much of Harlem, achieved proficiency on the exams.
Success Charter Network joins three other charter management organizations in NewSchools’ New York City portfolio: Uncommon Schools, which runs charter schools in New York and Newark, New Jersey; Achievement First, which manages charter schools in both Connecticut and New York; and Lighthouse Academies, which operates charter schools in New York, Washington, DC, Chicago, and several other cities. Together, these four organizations are having a measurable and increasing impact on public education in New York. During the coming school year, they will manage a combined 21 schools serving more than 5,000 students in Brooklyn, Harlem and the Bronx. NewSchools has also supported Civic Builders, Inc., a nonprofit charter school facilities developer that provides high-quality, affordable real estate solutions for charter schools in New York City.
“NewSchools Venture Fund is a true partner in providing Success Charter Network with support and guidance as we grow to scale,” said Eva Moskowitz, CEO of SCN. “Our partnership will help us serve a greater number of students in high-need neighborhoods, and bring us a step closer to ending the achievement gaps that have persisted in this city for far too long.”
About Success Charter Network
Success Charter Network operates free, public elementary schools founded on a simple premise: Every child can succeed. The Harlem Success Academy Charter School, which opened in August 2006 on 118th Street and Lenox Avenue, was the first of four Harlem Success Academies founded by Success Charter Network. Success Charter Network plans to open a total of forty high-performing charter schools in New York City. For more information, please visit (www.harlemsuccess.org).
About NewSchools Venture Fund
NewSchools Venture Fund is a national nonprofit venture philanthropy firm that has been working since 1998 to transform public education through powerful ideas and passionate entrepreneurs so that all children – especially those in underserved communities – have the opportunity to succeed. NewSchools invests in organizations that provide the systems, people and tools critical to successful public schooling, and connects their work to the broader landscape of public education reform. More information is available at (www.newschools.org).