President Bush Visits Get Smart Schools
Former President George W. Bush visited Get Smart Schools (GSS is an affiliate of CEE-Trust member, the Donnell-Kay Foundation) during a visit to Denver in October. While President Bush is "out of politics," he still has a "great passion about educational excellence," and is working with groups such as GSS to "set up a collaborative effort of educational entrepreneurs" at the Bush Center at Southern Methodist University. Last spring, Get Smart Schools signed a contract with the Dallas-based George W. Bush Institute's Alliance to Reform Education Leadership to improve how principals are trained and evaluated. During his recent visit to Denver, President Bush commended Get Smart Schools for their willingness to set high expectations for every child. For a link to the Denver Post article on the visit, click here. For video coverage of the event, click here.
The Mind Trust Launches Charter School Incubator
The Mind Trust recently launched a nationally-unique Charter School Incubator to attract the next generation of best in class charter school networks to Indianapolis. The Mind Trust will conduct a highly selective, nationwide competition to identify top leadership teams capable of launching networks of exceptional charter schools. Each winning leadership team will receive $1 million in start-up funding, distributed through a rigorous performance review and accountability process. Teams will be carefully screened upfront for experience, qualifications and charter school network leadership potential. The Mind Trust will leverage its knowledge of the community to ensure that leadership teams successfully launch and scale their high-performing, innovative school models in Indianapolis. Click here to learn more.
Donnell-Kay Foundation Awards Generation Schools $50,000 Grant to Expand to Colorado
The Donnell-Kay Foundation recently announced a $50,000 grant to support Generation Schools as they expand to Denver, CO from their pilot school in Brooklyn, NY. Generation Schools is known for their innovative use of time for both students and teachers. The model includes a 200-day school year and eight hours of instruction per day, with a staggered teacher schedule that allows for more collaboration, planning, and professional development. The Center for High-Impact Philanthropy selected Generation Schools as one of only two effective whole-school reform models featured in their winter 2011 national report, High Impact Philanthropy to Improve Teaching Quality for High-Need Secondary Students. By helping public schools successfully redeploy their existing resources to improve teacher effectiveness, Generation Schools is featured as one of the most cost-effective reforms in the country.
Click here for a link to Donnell-Kay's blog post announcing the grant.
In other DK Foundation news, Matt Samelson has taken over for Amy Anderson as Director of Special Projects at the Donnell-Kay Foundation. He is working on blended learning as well as energy efficient schools. Donnell-Kay also hired Alexander Ooms as Senior Fellow. Alex is a longtime member of the Denver ed community, having helped found West Denver Prep, and Donnell-Kay has brought him in to lead several research projects.
Newark Charter School Fund Develops Groundbreaking Charter Compact
Thirteen Newark charter schools have signed a groundbreaking Charter School Compact, an agreement that was developed by the Newark Charter School Fund (a CEE-Trust member). By signing the Compact, Newark charter stakeholders agree to:
- Serve all students in the city, especially the highest need students requiring special education services, students who are English Language Learners, students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, and other underserved or at-risk populations
- Post transparent data in full compliance with NJDOE policies in one consistent place on their websites regarding demographic and academic student data
- Collaborate as a charter sector and with Newark Public Schools to improve educational options and outcomes for all students, in both charter and district schools
NCSF CEO Mashea Ashton noted that the charter compact is the first step toward developing a broader charter-district compact, which will specify the ways in which both charter and the district schools can work together to improve educational opportunities for all Newark students.
For a link to the Newark Charter School Fund's Oct. 24th press release (including a link to the Compact PDF), click here.
Hyde Family Foundation Supports Gates Teaching Grant in Memphis
The Hyde Family Foundation was recently featured in an EdWeek article highlighting the collaboration between several Memphis philanthropic organizations, the Memphis public school district, and the teachers' union, the Memphis Education Association, to improve teacher effectiveness in Memphis. The partnership is supported through a $90 million, seven-year Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As part of the required local match, Memphis area philanthropic groups quickly pledged $21 million to the school improvement effort. "We thought this was a great opportunity to push things over the edge," said Terence Patterson, the program officer for education for the Hyde Family Foundations.
To read more about the Teacher Effectiveness Initiative in Memphis, click here.
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