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Published by Achievement First

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Published by: Achievement First on Dec 24, 2009
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Climbingthe Mountainto College
 Achievement First
 2009 Annual Report
Dear Friends, This is an exciting time in our organizational history—and or education reorm bothlocally and nationally. As states vie in an unprecedented “Race to the Top,” there is agrowing awareness that education reorm is not just a moral imperative, but also aneconomic one. As we struggle to get out o our current recession, nothing will do moreto ensure our long-term, collective prosperity than creating outstanding public schoolsor all students. A great education can break the cycle o poverty, level the playing eldand prepare our students to compete in a global economy.Five years ago, most traditional school districts were ocused on incremental changesthat were producing, at best, incremental improvements, and Achievement First andother charter operators were seen as irrelevant and even adversarial. Today, high-perorming charter schools are a central piece o both local and national strategies toaccelerate eorts to close the achievement gap. Over this time, Achievement First hasgrown to serve more than 4,600 students at 17 academies in Brooklyn, NY, and inConnecticut’s big three cities—New Haven, Bridgeport and Hartord. In 2009 in bothNew York and Connecticut, our ourth- and eighth-grade students (the oldest studentsin our elementary and middle schools respectively) outperormed state-wide averages,proving again that the achievement gap can be closed—and that it can be closed atscale.Perhaps more importantly, Achievement First is now doing this work as an activepartner with many o our host school districts. Achievement First Hartord Academy inits rst year posted the greatest perormance gains o any school in the city—providinga powerul validation o Hartord Superintendent Adamowski’s courageous decisionto close a ailing school and use the acility to launch Achievement First Hartord. InNew Haven, our hometown mayor and Amistad board member, John DeSteano,has announced a bold, district-wide reorm plan based, in part, on the successo Achievement First schools. We are in active discussions with the district aboutlaunching a potential leadership training program and other ways that we can supportNew Haven’s ambitious reorms. In New York City, Chancellor Joel Klein has askedus to expand rom nine to 20 academies (eight elementary, eight middle and our highschools), eventually serving more than 7,200 students in central Brooklyn. Thank you or your continued support and partnership. The more we do this work, themore optimistic we become about the potential o our collective commitment to make areal dierence in the lives o kids and the uture they will create or all o us.Dacia M. TollCo-CEODoug McCurryCo-CEOWilliam R. BerkleyBoard Chair

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