Why We Support Innovative Schools

June 22, 2016

We love graduation season at NewSchools! It reminds us why we support innovative schools.

A big part of our work is supporting new innovative schools with the potential to become great networks. Through our Invent program, we fund the planning and launch of the first and second schools of emerging innovative charter networks. (We also fund new and redesigned district schools. I’ll cover that in a separate post.)

Ednovate is a Los Angeles-based charter network we support. They currently have two high schools, with another opening this August and two more in fall 2017. USC Hybrid High was their first school. Last week, 100% of its first senior class graduated and 100% were accepted to college. And because 85% of the graduates are from low-income families and most are first-generation college goers, the $5M in scholarships they collectively earned will make a huge difference. Check out this must-see video featuring these kids and their families at graduation last week:

A few years ago when we worked together at the Gates Foundation, NewSchools managing partner Scott Benson took a chance on the launch of Hybrid High when few would – it was a big risk. Starting a new school from scratch is hard and the first year was pretty rocky. But with some smart changes in people and rigor, they turned it around and are creating great results for kids.

This is why we support innovation at NewSchools. Families deserve better schools, ones that meet kids where they are and prepare every one of them to succeed in college, work, and life. Five years ago, Ednovate didn’t exist. By fall 2017, they will operate five high schools. And they’ll keep growing from there.

Every investment we make in the planning and launch of a new school has this kind of potential. They won’t all be home runs, but lots of them will. And as a result, kids and families in neighborhoods all over the country will have more options for schools that work better for them.

If you or someone you know is planning to launch an innovative school in the next couple of years, be on the lookout for our next funding opportunity in early August!