In Blog

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

Dear Coalition Members,

A year in the making, we are excited to welcome the inaugural class of Fellowsparticipating in the Coalition’s School Launch Program this summer! Our Fellows will be working alongside leaders in our member schools to learn how to operate and lead diverse-by-design charter schools. Kickoff for School Launch Program coincides with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Convening, a time for DCSC schools in DC and Baltimore to come together and learn from each other as neighbors andpeers. All in all, we expect 50 people to join us in DC July 24-27th. To learn more about the upcoming Kickoff and Convening, visit our blog.

Citizens of the World Charter Schools, Los Angeles joins nineteen other members in making a 2018 pledge in support of the Coalition.  The Coalition would not be here without your continued support. In 2014, fourteen members founded this organization to realize a bold vision – to have an ever-growing number of our public schools embody the diversity of our nation’s people – across race, socioeconomic status, language andabilities – while preparing the children in their care to pursue higher education, meaningful and sustainable work in a global economy, and an equal role in a more cohesive and connected participatory democracy. Since then, we’ve grown to 44 members and built a network of amazing schools. We are inspired every day by your dedication to this work and your commitment to reshaping what it means to educate andprepare this generation of students to lead a better world today and tomorrow. We will continue to highlight your stories, bring you together to build community, and challenge you to be better.

We look forward to seeing many of you in D.C. and at the upcoming Beyond Desegregation and National Charter School Conferences. And though we’re not quite ready to share the Save-the-Date for our 5th Annual Convening in New Orleans, rest assured it’ll be the best one yet!


Sonia C. Park

Coalition Updates

Updates from the Coalition: Where Have We Been?
NewSchools Venture Fund Summit 
Sonia joined other education leaders and advocates at the 2018 Summit.  It was great to see many members at the Summit (City Charters, EL Haynes, DSST, Summit, High Tech High, just to name a few) and to connect with old and new colleagues.  NSVF is working hard to walking the walk on DEI – as indicated by the sessions being presented and the folks that were in attendance. For more on NSVF’s new funding strategy, see below.

NAPCS APCSA Conference
Sonia presented at the National Alliance of Public Charter School Attorneys Spring Legal Seminar on “Creating Intentionally Diverse Charter Schools.”  She spoke about how it requires intentionality, a willingness to engage the community and since it was a gathering of lawyers, how to follow the law.  It was a wonky crowd that understood the HOW to get to a diversesetting but some still needed to wrap their heads around the WHY. While in Atlanta, Sonia andboard member Andrea Arroyo visited member school Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School. ANCS Executive Director Matt Underwood recently wrote an op-ed on how neighborhood gentrification changed the composition of his school and how a change in state law is helping his school stay committed to diversity (see our News Roundup for the link!).

Washington State Charter SchoolsAssociation Conference 
Ashley participated in the Fourth Annual Washington State Charter SchoolsAssociation Conference in Seattle. Along with school leaders and a parent from Summit and Impact, we discussed what it means to be “diverse by design and how schools can become fully “integrated” with regards to academics, discipline, special education, leadership, staffing, and parent involvement?

Diverse-by-Design Charter Schools
The Century Foundation’s recently released report represents the first systematic effort to identify diverse-by-design charter schools and characterize the role of student diversity in school mission and design across the charter sector more generally. Based on an analysis using three different factors—racial and socioeconomic demographics of schools, school leader responses on a survey, and analysis of charter schools’ websites—this report identifies 125 intentionally diverse charter schools. Although they represent a small slice of the charter school sector, data suggests that the number of diverse-by-design charter schools is growing. These schools offer important insights into how the charter school model can help promote school integration.

From the Field: Supporting Model Providers 
After three years of investments in the launch of innovative new schools and the redesign of existing ones, NewSchools Venture Fund has launched a new portfolio strategy.  From NSVF:  We are currently building a pipeline of early-stage organizations called “model providers,” with intentions to invest in several promising teams over the next few years. What Is a “Model Provider”? A model provider offers an integrated bundle of instructional resources, teacher supports, and administrative tools. When aligned with a school’s vision and goals, these holistic solutions can provide a solid foundation for many educators to build on as they redesign their schools to better meet the needs of their students. We wrote a brief paper to provide a more comprehensive overview of this concept and our plans to support it. We encourage you to read and share it!

Upcoming Conferences & Events

Beyond Desegregation: Promising Practices for Diverse & Equitable Schools
May 29th to May 31st in Cambridge, MA
Register here

This practical conference will help schools, districts and charter management organizations go beyond desegregation as they work to become truly integrated places where all children learn at high levels, appreciate their own and other cultures, and work to understand and dismantle racism. Confirmed speakers include an opening keynote from John King, the previous U.S. Secretary of Education and current president and CEO of Education Trust, as well as dozens of educators and community members from schools, districts, and non-profits across the country. 

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

The National Charter Schools Conference is the best learning and networking event for charterschool 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. DCSC will co-present two sessions: Creating the Leadership Pipeline: Who, What & Why? & Is There a Shelf Life to Leadership? 

UnidosUS Annual Conference
July 7th to July 10th in Washington, D.C.
More info here

This conference is the largest gathering of its kind in the Hispanic community, serving as the meeting ground for thousands of community leaders, activists, and volunteers; elected andappointed officials; members of the corporate, philanthropic, and academic communities; senior citizens; college students; and youth.

News Roundup

Analysis: Many Charter Schools Are Getting Diversity Right — by Design. What We Can Learn From Them About Racial & Socioeconomic Integration by Halley Potter and Kimberly Quick
The 74 — May 15, 2018

Any Educational Reform That Ignores Segregation Is Doomed To Failure by Andre Perry
The Hechinger Report — May 15, 2018

How America’s Schools Have (and Haven’t) Changed in the 64 Years Since the Brown v. Board Verdict — as Told in 15 Charts by Kevin Mahnken
The 74 — May 13, 2018

How An Increasingly White Atlanta Charter School Fostered Diversity by Matt Underwood
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution — May 11, 2018

New Schools Chief Talks School Segregation, Racial Discomfort by Selim Algar
New York Post — May 10, 2018

“‘The Problem We All Live With’: Ruby Bridges on Racism in America Today” by Nick Blumberg
Chicago Tonight — May 3, 2018

“Back to the future: A new school district secession movement is gaining steam” by Valerie Strauss
Washington Post–May 2, 2018

“Why Are New York’s Schools Segregated? It’s Not as Simple as Housing” by Elizabeth A. Harris and Josh Katz
Washington Post — May 2, 2018

“New Civil Rights Data Collection Shows Students of Color Are Being Systematically Pushed Out” by Ary Amerikaner and Ivy Morgan
Ed Trust — April 25, 2018

Research Brief: Rethinking Dual Enrollment to Reach More Students
This Promising Practices report from Education Commission of the States discusses state approaches that systematically broaden dual enrollment access and provide pre-collegiate experiences to middle- and lower-achieving students.

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