Uncommon Schools: Turning Urban Schools Into Springboards to College” white paper is released (March 2014)
Uncommon Schools was honored to receive the 2013 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools last summer as the charter management organization that has “demonstrated the most outstanding overall student performance and improvement in the nation in recent years while reducing achievement gaps for low-income students and students of color.” The Broad Foundation produced the white paper below after spending extensive time in many of our schools and at our home office: observing instruction and interviewing teachers, leaders, school-based staff, parents, students, and home office team members in order to understand what makes Uncommon uncommon. We are excited to share their findings, which highlight the work of our amazing students, families, staff, and supporters – and extend our deep gratitude to the Broad Foundation for their recognition and support as well.
Earlier today at the National Charter Schools Conference in Washington, D.C., The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation awarded the 2013 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools to Uncommon Schools. As many of you know, the award is given to the public charter management organization that has demonstrated outstanding student performance and improvement across its schools, and closed achievement gaps for low-income students and students of color. In addition to this wonderful honor, we will receive $250,000 to support our students’ college readiness.
We are humbled by this recognition. We know very well that this award could just as easily have gone to this year’s other Broad Prize finalists, KIPP and Achievement First. As our long-time friends, colleagues, and close collaborators on numerous projects, we have had the opportunity to learn from them each day and to witness the amazing work they both do to serve their students, and feel fortunate and honored to share this occasion with them. I’m proud to say that between our three organizations, we serve nearly 56,000 students in 179 schools across the country, all trying to ensure students are prepared to enter into, succeed in, and graduate from college. We have been, and continue to be, in this together.
While none of us are in this work for a prize, moments like this should remind us of the progress we have made and the journey we have taken to get here. In the 16 years since our first school opened, we have learned that there is no magic wand to running excellent schools. Rather, it’s the willingness of our 1,070 individual teachers, leaders, and Home Office staff who find 100, individual one percent solutions to create the best schools we can imagine for our students – and then implement and improve upon those solutions day after day with grit, creativity, and joy; the determination of our students to exceed the incredibly high expectations we set for them; and the unflagging support of people like you – our families, friends, and supporters.
As always, thank you for your continued support. We could not be where we are without you.
Chief Executive Officer