Access to a high-quality public school can be a transformative experience for low-income students. Yet despite tremendous efforts, there remain too many low-income students in schools that don’t serve them well.
The Quality School Options initiative supports cities that seek to increase the number and percentage of students attending high performing or high potential schools and that try to give families an opportunity to find a best fit school for their children. Places that focus on growing great schools and implementing the school portfolio strategy, such as New Orleans and Denver, demonstrate that cities can methodically increase the number of kids getting a great education.
To accomplish these goals, we help cities create the systems necessary to implement the school portfolio strategy, which include:
- Unified accountability systems, which rate all public schools in a fair, transparent, and comparable manner.
- Unified enrollment systems, which ensure that all families have equitable access to schools.
- Equitable student-based funding systems, which ensure that schools are funded based upon the number and needs of the kids they serve.
- Application of school portfolio management and authorizing processes, which help city leaders provide families with the schools they want and deserve.
We support organizations that provide philanthropic growth capital to high-performing or high-potential school operators so they can create more schools. And we partner with innovative city-level organizations (often called “harbormasters”) to help create the conditions necessary for great schools to thrive.
We hope that more cities will build on these strategies so that all students have access to the great schools they deserve.