By: Scott Morgan
There’s no doubt that all children – no matter their skin color, family income, or zip code – can achieve at high levels. Ensuring that all children actually do so ultimately depends on the effectiveness of the work that adults do on their behalf.
We talk a lot about human capital at Education Pioneers, and we heard a powerful perspective on this topic recently. During one of our Fellowship workshops in Texas, Charlyn Henderson, a Teacher Development Specialist at the Houston Independent School District, told a room full of Education Pioneers fellows, “Don’t forget that the most important human capital we have is our children.”
This is why we like to celebrate whenever we hear about American schools that defy the demographic odds by educating previously underserved students at exceptionally high levels. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “That some achieve great success is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.”
Take DC Prep, a network of public charter schools serving 1,200 students in preschool through 8th grade in Washington, DC. DC Prep was recently ranked the highest-performing charter management organization in the city for the second consecutive year, based on results from the 2013 District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC CAS). DC Prep’s results include:
- Edgewood Middle Campus 4th – 8th grade students scored 79% proficient in reading, and 92% proficient in math (up from 72% and 89% in 2012, respectively);
- Edgewood Elementary Campus 3rd grade students scored 68% proficient in reading, and 76% proficient in math;
- DC Prep’s 2013 DC CAS scores far outpace the state proficiency rates of 50% in reading and 53% in math.
In a press release, DC Prep’s CEO Rick Cruz attributed the schools’ successes to the “tireless work and effort of each campus-based team across DC Prep.”
Personally, I’m especially heartened to hear of DC Prep’s continued success, as they are one of Education Pioneers’ partner organizations. DC Prep was founded by an alumna of The Broad Residency, Emily Lawson, in 2003, who served as the organization’s CEO for eight years before transitioning to the Board of Directors. Another Broad alumna, Wendy Scott, serves as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer.
To get more great people like Emily and Wendy into education, Education Pioneers, The Broad Center (TBC) and the Strategic Data Project (SDP) joined forces last year through our collaborative, Activate ED. Through Activate ED, we work together to attract more top people into education and to provide them with the tools and training they need to be successful in working outside of the classroom to support the critical work of educators with students.
Education Pioneers’ nationwide network of 2,000+ talented leaders grew by more than 25% when we joined forces with TBC and SDP through Activate ED. The power of the Activate ED network lies in its ability to connect thousands of effective leaders and managers working across the education sector in districts, charter schools, nonprofits, state and federal departments of education, and other education organizations, so that we can work together and with other partners to transform education.
We must go forward together; it’s the only way we’ll succeed on behalf of our nation’s children, our most important human capital.
Interested in getting involved in education or applying to one of Activate ED’s member organizations’ Fellowships or Residencies? Take the short Activate ED Quiz and see which programs match your skills and interests.
Scott Morgan, is the Founder and CEO of Education Pioneers