It’s the beginning of the New Year and the Education Forward DC team is busy in our grantmaking in service of our five-year goal of doubling the number of underserved students in DC who are college and career ready. Our most recent grants have focused on supporting the creation of high-quality, equitable public schools; gathering and sharing information to support policy decisions, planning efforts, and families’ school choice decisions; and advancing quality and equity in district and public charter schools.
Supporting the creation of high-quality, equitable public schools
We are supporting the launch of The Sojourner Truth Public Charter School, a public charter school serving 450 students in grades six through twelve opening in fall 2020. Led by Executive Director Justin Lessek and Principal Denise Edwards, The Sojourner Truth Public Charter School will be the first public Montessori middle and high school in DC and anticipates locating in Ward 5.
Gathering and sharing information to support policy decisions, planning efforts, and families’ school choice decisions
Founded in 2016, the DC Policy Center is a non-partisan think tank committed to advancing policies for a strong and vibrant economy in the District of Columbia. We are supporting their release of the State of DC Schools report, a first-of-its-kind effort to comprehensively examine and understand DC schools in a way that families, policy makers, and advocates can use to make decisions that impact students, and drive forward the conversation on equitable, quality education in DC.
Advancing quality and equity in district and public charter schools
We are supporting the merger between Friends of Choice in Urban Schools (FOCUS), a non-profit organization that supports the diverse set of public charter schools in DC by advocating for and strengthening autonomy, equity, and quality, and the DC Association of Chartered Public Schools (the Association), whose mission is to improve opportunities and outcomes for students by supporting the development, growth, and sustainability of quality chartered public schools in DC. By formally merging FOCUS and the Association into one organization, they can dramatically increase the impact of their work of advancing school quality and choice for DC families.
Education Reform Now DC pursues education policies that enable all students, particularly students of color or from low-income families, to obtain a globally competitive education. In addition to supporting them to build a network of parents and other local residents who are advocating for educational equity, we are supporting their search for a new Executive Director.
The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is the nation’s largest minority education organization that is committed to supporting more African-American students’ ability to attend college. We supported UNCF to launch and facilitate the creation of a broad-based coalition for public education in DC that can generate and advance a community-driven agenda to set more supportive policies for high-quality, equitable schools in DC.