In Blog

Monthly Digest with Coalition Updates, Must-Read News, and Upcoming Events

Coalition Updates

2018 Convening: See You in Denver!

2018 DCSC Convening (Denver, CO)
The DCSC team is on its way to the 4th Annual DCSC Convening in Denver, CO. The Convening will be the most attended yet with over 45 organizations/schools coming together for our two-day event. Couldn’t make it this year? Be on the lookout for highlights in our next newsletter and a “save the date.” Safe travels to all attending this year!

Updates from the Coalition: Where Have We Been? 

2018 Second Term Inaugural Ceremony (New York, NY)
Sonia was invited to attend New York City Mayor de Blasio’s second term inauguration. Sonia, along with 900+ guests, braved the 14-degree weather to witness the Mayor being sworn in by Senator Bernie Sander. Also in attendance were former Mayor David Dinkins and Senator Chuck Schumer.

Bush-Obama School Reform: Lessons Learned (Washington, D.C.)
Sonia recently attended the AEI research conference featuring panels on the Bush and Obama years. The presenters posed key questions exploring: What lessons might we draw from the past two decades? What do the George W. Bush and Barack Obama years teach us about K–12 reform strategies and Washington’s efforts to support them? The event also features a keynote address by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

DCSC School Launch Program

In our last newsletter, we introduced Ashley Heard, DCSC’s Managing Program Director. We’re excited to share Fellowship Program updates and next steps:

Beginning Summer 2018, DCSC’s school launch program prepares aspiring leaders to create and lead high performing, intentionally diverse charter schools. Aspiring leaders in the Explore Series participate in weekend sessions that introduce and explore school launch.

Leaders in the Fellowship participate in a full-time, paid, 19-month residency at a member host school. The fellowship culminates in the launch of a new intentionally diverse charter school.

  • The Coalition is actively recruiting fellows recommended by Coalition members. Recommend a Fellow.
  • Member schools interested in serving as a host school for the fellowship should email Ashley to learn more.
  • The Explore Series is open to aspiring leaders and potential future fellows. Share this link with those who may be interested in applying to the Explore Series.

Spotlight On: Blackstone Valley Prep

Blackstone Valley Prep (BVP) Mayoral Academy is a growing network of tuition-free public charter schools in northern Rhode Island serving 1,800 scholars in grades K-­12 across 6 schools. Its mission is to prepare scholars for success in college and the world beyond.

A unique part of BVP’s model is its focus on intentional diversity. BVP draws scholars from the two traditionally higher-­income communities of Cumberland and Lincoln and the two predominantly lower-­income communities of Pawtucket and Central Falls, facilitating connections across both racial and socioeconomic lines of difference.

Learn more about member school BVP and their commitment to diversity on our website’s new Member Spotlight.

Mark Your Calendars: Anti-Bias and Social Justice Institute

Community Roots will be hosting another Anti-Bias and Social Justice Institute in May 2018. The November Institute was a huge success and allowed participants to share with and learn from other schools about school integration practices. We are thrilled to be able to open our doors again in this way.  Learn more about the Institute here and share with other schools you think would be interested and could benefit from the work.

From the Field: The Century Foundation Seeks Your Input 
The Century Foundation invites you to participate in a short five-minute survey about diversity practices and priorities in your school.  This research is part of a two-year project, generously funded by the Walton Family Foundation, that seeks to understand the prevalence of diverse charter schools and the strategies that make them successful. As members of the Diverse Charter School Coalition, we know that you value creating diverse and inclusive learning environments for children. Your insights would help TCF further their important research.

We hope that you will take the time to complete this survey and to help compile a list of strategies that we can later share with education leaders and policymakers. In return, The Century Foundation will provide a $20 incentive to each responding school. You can use this link to access the survey: Charter School Diversity Survey

If you have any questions regarding the survey or project in general, please email, or reach out directly to Kimberly Quick (

Opportunities for School Leaders, Teachers, and Students 
RIDES Leadership Fellowship 
The RIDES Leadership Fellowship is designed to attract passionate leaders who are committed to achieving equity and integration in American schools. The purpose of the two-year Fellowship is to prepare courageous leaders to drive schools, school systems, and partnering organizations towards racial and economic diversity. RIDES seeks a diverse cohort of applicants who are enthusiastic about bringing their own professional and personal experiences in leading efforts that address race, equity, diversity and inclusion in schools. Applications for the 2018-19 Leadership Fellowship are due February 5, 2018. Learn more about the Fellowship and how to apply here.

NEH Summer Programs
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) funds tuition-free summer programs for school and college educators. Participants receive stipends to help cover travel and living expenses.  Programs are held across the country.  These one-to-four-week study opportunities focus on important topics, texts, and questions in the humanities; enhance the intellectual vitality and professional development of participants; build a community of inquiry and provide strong models of scholarship and teaching, and promote connections between teaching and research in the humanities.  The deadline for applications is March 1, 2018. For more information and application instructions for each individual program, click here.

Century Foundation Summer Scholars Program 
Each year, The Century Foundation welcomes six brilliant college students, recent graduates, or graduate students to their New York City office as part of the Summer Scholars program. Scholars spend the summer building relationships and researching the issues they care about most. Past interns have worked with researchers who are leaders in their fields, been published by The Century Foundation, and gone on to become drivers of social change in government, journalism, academia, and more.

Those interested are invited to submit an application to the Summer Scholars program by February 14, 2018. This year, the program will run for eight weeks, from Monday, June 4 through Friday, July 27. For more information, including FAQs, visit the TCF Institute’s website.

Upcoming Conferences & Events

National School Choice Week
January 21, 2018 to January 27, 2018
Learn more here

National School Choice Week (NSCW) recognizes K-12 school options, including traditional public schools, charter schools, magnet schools, private schools, online academies, and homeschooling.  Over the past seven years, there have been more than 58,000 NSCW events in the country and around the world. These celebratory events raise public awareness of the different K-12 education options available to children and families, while spotlighting the benefits of school choice.  This is a great opportunity to highlight your school and share your stories. 

2018 DC Charter School Conference
February 1, 2018 in Washington, D.C.
Register here

The 2nd Annual DC Charter Conference, hosted by FOCUS, will bring together public charter school leaders, administrators, board members, and stakeholders to dive into topics including advocacy, data, development and communications, equity, governance, operations, student support, and more. Conference participants will spend the day: learning from experts about issues facing DC’s public charter schools, sharing innovations and best practices that are driving student outcomes, inspiring each other to engage in advocacy that strengthens our movement, focusing on equity so together we can achieve the goal of quality public school choices for all DC families. The conference will feature interactive workshops, inspiring speakers, timely content, and opportunities for discussion and collaboration. Attendees will have the opportunity to choose from a variety of substantive sessions that fit their individual needs, as well as to learn together about issues that the entire DC charter sector faces.

March 5, 2018 to March 8, 2018 in Austin, TX
Register here

The SXSW EDU Conference & Festival fosters innovation in learning by hosting a community of optimistic, forward-thinking, purpose-driven stakeholders with a shared goal of impacting the future of teaching and learning. The eighth annual SXSW EDU will return to Austin for four days of compelling sessions, in-depth workshops, engaging learning experiences, mentorship, film screenings, startup events, policy discussions, competitions, exhibitions, networking and so much more. Through collaboration, creativity and engagement, SXSW EDU empowers its global community to connect, discover and impact.

California Charter Schools Conference
March 20, 2018 to March 23, 2018 in Sacramento, CA
Register here

The mission of the California Charter Schools Conference (CCSA) is to inspire academic excellence, operational integrity and unity among charter schools throughout California. The annual event connects charter school experts from across the country who lead sessions on everything from balancing your budget, obtaining a new facility and creating a safe school environment to building a productive and excellent board and advocating for your school on the local, state and federal level. 

Washington State Charter Schools Association Conference
April 27, 2018 to April 28, 2018 in Seatac, WA
Register here

As the largest Washington state charter convening of the year, the WA Charters annual conference brings together everyone currently engaged in the state’s growing sector in Washington and those seeking to learn more about innovative and excellent schools across our state. This year’s conference title is Onward: Excellence and Equity, grounding our conference offerings in the connected themes of excellent education for all students and diversity, equity, and inclusion. This event brings together national, regional, and local experts in charter public schools and provides opportunities for networking, learning, and engagement between charter school leaders, teachers, board, members, advocates, and community stakeholders. In previous years, more than 300 have gathered to learn, connect and share.

National Charter Schools Conference
June 17, 2018 to June 20, 2018 in Austin, TX
Register here

The National Charter Schools Conference is the best learning and networking event for charter school educators, leaders, and advocates. This conference is about being part of a movement, learning from the best in the field, and learning from each other. Meeting peers that struggle with the same issues you do – or have solutions to offer you – is an incredible learning experience. Proposals for sessions are due February 5, 2018.  Are you considering submitting a proposal?  Let us know so we can highlight it! 

News Roundup


“Some Practical — If Uncomfortable — Solutions to the Stubborn School Segregation Mapped Out by Vox” by Conor Williams
The 74 Million — January 11, 2018

“New York’s most segregated school districts can now apply for integration training” by Patrick Wall
Chalkbeat — January 11, 2018

“Analysis: Is Scapegoating Charter Schools on Segregation Actually a Stealth Attack on Educational Excellence for African-American Students?” By Derrell Bradford
The 74 — January 10, 2018

“Stop Talking About Teacher Diversity. Start Tackling the Problem” by Cassandra Herring
Edweek — January 9, 2018

“We can draw school zones to make classrooms less segregated. This is how well your district does” by Alvin Chang
Vox — January 8, 2018

“How diverse is the teaching force in your district? A new analysis highlights the gap between students and teachers of color” by Monica Disare
New York Chalkbeat — January 8, 2018

“The Truth About ‘Segregated’ Charter Schools” by Emily Langhorne
US News — December 21, 2017

“The end of ‘Mexican schools’: How Latino families in OC sparked desegregation 70 years ago”by Jill Replogle
SCPR — December 21, 2017

“A New Path for School Integration” by Abel McDaniels
American Progress — December 19, 2017

“Study suggests gentrification has boosted integration in D.C. schools” by Valerie Strauss
Washington Post — December 19, 2017


Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search