Investment Supports CA Charter Schools Association’s New Cutting-Edge Program Designed to Increase Student Achievement and Improve Charter Quality Statewide
Los Angeles, CA – The California Charter Schools Association today announced the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation’s largest single grant to date in California to California’s charter schools. The latest $3 million grant will support the development and deployment of ZOOM! Data Source, a new statewide data program developed by the Association that enables teachers and principals to easily access and use their achievement data at the state, school, classroom and student level in order to make informed decisions that accelerate their students learning and development. The Dell family foundation previously invested $650,000 in the earlier planning phases of the program, bringing its total commitment to the California Charter Schools Association to $3.65 million over the last two years.
Currently 189 charter schools have signed up to participate in the first year of the program, which was originally slated for 150 charter schools. Due to the high demand to participate, the number of participating schools was increased by nearly 40 schools. Over the next five years, ZOOM! Data Source expects to impact more than 600 charter schools, reaching over 200,000 students, and could eventually expand to hundreds of charter schools throughout the country.
“California’s charter school leaders have enthusiastically embraced this program to empower their teachers to use data to improve student achievement,” said Caprice Young, president and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association. “The demand for ZOOM! Data Source across the state reflects California charter schools’ commitment to quality and continuous improvement.”
The Dell family foundation has invested almost $20 million in California education in the past three years to fund charter school expansion and charter school quality, and school district initiatives in student achievement improvement and performance management initiatives, which the foundation believes are critical to bridging the achievement gap in urban schools.
“The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation believes that all charter schools should strive to be highly accountable and show consistently high levels of student achievement,” said Janet Mountain, executive director of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. “By taking a new and flexible approach to how information is accessed and used, teachers and administrators can take action based on what’s working and what’s not working to influence student achievement and graduation rates before children start to fail. It is exciting to support California as they take a leadership role in providing faster, better tools to promote high levels of student achievement in every charter school.”
ZOOM! Data Source is a premier Association program that features customized training, coaching, and peer collaboration to improve data-driven decision-making to increase student achievement in charter schools. ZOOM! Data Source is powered by market-leading DataDirector™, Riverside Publishing’s online solution for data and assessment management. Currently available in California, Michigan, Texas, Georgia, and Illinois, DataDirector allows educators to create and report on assessments as well as other student data to improve instruction and student performance.
“We are very excited that DataDirector has been chosen by the California Charter Schools Association to be part of the ZOOM! Data Source project,” said Richard Swartz, president of Riverside Publishing – a subsidiary of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and leading publisher of assessments and high quality test item banks. “The flexibility of DataDirector ensures that charter school educators will be able to import and draw detailed reports from any number of data sources, and then immediately put it to use in the classroom.”
In addition to participating in ZOOM! Data Source, all of the 189 charter schools are also participating in the Association’s Certified Charter Schools Program, the nation’s first quality-assurance program that recognizes charter schools that have demonstrated a commitment to a rigorous, independent quality review process. ZOOM! Data Source complements the Certified Program by providing charter schools with the tools necessary to monitor and measure their effectiveness in advancing quality programs for improved student achievement.
Additional contributions to the ZOOM! Data Source program are currently being solicited and have been received from the Annenberg Foundation and the Doris & Donald Fisher Fund.
About the California Charter Schools Association
The California Charter Schools Association is the membership and professional organization serving the more than 700 charter public schools that serve over a quarter million charter school students in the state of California. The Association’s mission is to improve student achievement by supporting and expanding California’s quality charter public school movement. www.myschool.org.
About the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (www.msdf.org) is dedicated to improving the lives of children living in urban poverty around the world. With offices in Austin, TX and New Delhi, India, the Dell family foundation funds programs that foster high-quality public education and childhood health, and improve the economic stability of families living in poverty. With an endowment of $1.3 billion, the foundation has committed almost $450 million to global children’s issues and community initiatives to date.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation is separate and distinct from the Dell Foundation. In first reference, please use ‘The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.’ For second references, ‘the Dell family foundation’ is correct