Almost ten years ago, Washington, DC began a series of sweeping changes to dramatically improve public education. To complement the efforts of DC Public Schools, NewSchools Venture Fund saw an opportunity to launch the DC Schools Fund. We set out to expand educational opportunities for students and families in Washington, D.C. – particularly those who have been underserved – by strengthening the quality of the city’s charter schools.
At that time, 31 percent of students attended a charter school, but the quality on average was not much better than that of the district. We focused on increasing the number of high-quality charter schools by directly supporting schools, ensuring accountability for low-performing charters, supporting advocacy efforts and building an ecosystem to ensure school leaders had the necessary tools and support to drive quality.
Since 2008, we have invested $40 million and worked with 50 teams of educators, yielding the creation or transformation of more than 14,000 seats in public charter schools. Today, more than three times as many students attend a high-performing charter school than in 2008. More importantly, Washington, D.C. is the fastest improving city on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, improving twice as quickly as other cities.
As the DC Schools Fund began wrapping up, we were excited to launch a new phase of work through the creation of Education Forward DC, an independent non-profit which will work to advance quality and equity in public schools across the city. Building on the work of the DC Schools Fund, Ed Forward DC aims to double the number of underserved students who are college and career-ready in the next five years.
We’re pleased to share this report with you, highlighting some of our successes and lessons learned across the last eight years. Thank you for your support and partnership.
CEO, NewSchools Venture Fund
Managing Partner, NewSchools Venture Fund
CEO, Education Forward DC
End of Fund Report
This work would not be possible without a community of people working incredibly hard to make a difference on behalf of students. We would like to thank our ventures—especially the entrepreneurs, leaders, and teachers who have built organizations and school cultures designed to help students thrive.
We are supported by a network of donors who have provided not only financial resources, but their time, energy and wisdom in service of making our team and our work better.
Finally, we would like to thank our colleagues who have worked on the DC Schools Fund team over the last eight years, especially Jordan Meranus, Kim Statham, Lauren Kushman, Jim Peyser, and Melissa Kim.
Thank you to our funders:
- Bainum Family Foundation
- The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
- The Louis Calder Foundation
- CapitalSource Charitable Foundation
- CityBridge Foundation
- The Clark Charitable Foundation
- deLaski Family Foundation
- Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
- Terry and Lindsay Eakin Foundation
- Lois & Richard England Family Foundation
- Doris & Donald Fisher Fund
- Flamboyan Foundation
- Foundation for Maryland’s Future
- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- Robert Hisaoka
- The Andrew and Julie Klingenstein Family Fund
- Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
- Larry & Melanie Nussdorf
- Perkins Hunter Foundation Fund
- The Manger Family Foundation
- The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation
- Robertson Foundation
- Silicon Valley Community Foundation
- The Walton Family Foundation