Achievement First 2010 Annual Report

Dear Friends,

We’re not close to reaching the educational Promised Land, but we may be at the start of what Rahm Emanuel calls the Quiet Revolution.
DaviD Brooks The New York Times

We believe that we are at the beginning of what some have called a “quiet revolution” in education reform. As a revolutionary prerequisite, there is a growing awareness of the magnitude and impact of the problems we face. According to a recent report by the College Board, the United States once led the world in the proportion of adults ages 25 to 34 with postsecondary credentials—today we rank 12th. In other words, we are now in danger of producing the first generation of adults in modern times to be less educated than their parents. As we allowed an achievement gap to grow between the rest of the world and us, we have also seen the rise of pernicious achievement gaps within our own country that leave low-income students, on average, four years behind their middle- and high-income peers by the end of high school. Behind all of these statistics are the faces of real kids and the lasting impact of an inadequate education on individuals, families, communities and our country. Thankfully, the much-needed revolution in education policy and practice is starting to take hold. In many states, the unprecedented Race to the Top competition led to the passage of a number of state policy reforms that had historically been sidelined by status quo politics but were finally passed with the incentive of significant federal dollars. We are experiencing a critical shift from a focus purely on process or inputs to a more balanced focus on outcomes, in part inspired by the great results of gap-closing schools. We saw the adoption of globally competitive, “common” learning standards across states, requirements for performance-based teacher evaluations, and support for the expansion of highperforming charter schools. Across the country, more progress was made in state education policy in the past 18 months than we had experienced in the past 18 years. Just because this revolution is quiet does not mean it should be underestimated—it is powerful and picking up steam. This momentum has been fueled by the powerful documentaries The Lottery, A Right Denied, and Waiting for “Superman,” all of which left millions of people with less patience to “wait” for more meaningful reforms. More people have realized that, especially in these tough economic times, nothing will do more to ensure our long-term, collective prosperity than creating outstanding public schools for all students. A great education can break the cycle of poverty and set all of our students up to compete in a global economy. It is this transformative power that compelled us to open the first Achievement First school more than 12

years ago and that drives us today in our work with 19 schools serving 5,400 students in Brooklyn, NY, and in Connecticut’s three biggest cities—New Haven, Bridgeport and Hartford. In Connecticut, our 2010 results again showed our fourth- and eighth-grade students (the oldest students in our elementary and middle schools) outperforming state-wide averages, proving that the achievement gap can be closed— and that it can be closed at scale. We are pleased to be ranked #1 in the state in African-American performance at both the elementary and middle school levels. Sadly, our schools are amongst only a handful of schools in the state where African-Americans and low-income students outperform the state averages. We also celebrated the graduation of our first high school class with 100 percent of its students admitted to four-year colleges or universities. The performance of these schools and other top-performing charter schools is setting the bar, defining what others see as possible and providing powerful pressure for more widespread reform. While there is much to celebrate, 2010 was also a challenging year for Achievement First. In New York, the State Board of Regents raised the cut score for what was considered “proficient”—a bold and much-needed move to raise expectations for New York students to true college-prep levels. This change in standards resulted in a significant decline in student performance scores across the state and at Achievement First. We had to confront the brutal fact that, while our students still outperformed their local districts and even the state in some subjects, it was painfully obvious that we had focused on the wrong standard and were not preparing them well enough for the rigors of college. Fortunately, the entire Achievement First team responded to these challenges not with excuses or frustration, but with a call to action to do whatever it takes to help our students meet the higher bar. Instead of taking it as grim news for Achievement First, the disappointing 2010 New York results have served as a wake-up call and catalyst. We are now more focused than ever on helping our students get the great, gapclosing education they need and deserve. We know that, just as with our students, we are limited only by the expectations we set for ourselves. As we celebrate another year of milestones and learning, we want to thank you for your continued support and partnership. The more we do this work, the more optimistic we become about the potential of our collective commitment to make a real difference in the lives of kids and the future they will create for all of us.

Dacia M. Toll Co-CEO

Doug McCurry Co-CEO

William R. Berkley Board Chair

Library of Congress

© Bettmann/CORBIS

Library of Congress

The truth is—there are indefensible and unconstitutional inequities in our school system—in terms of funding, teacher quality, access to rigorous curriculum and student outcomes. Half a century after Brown v. Board of Education, this is an epic injustice for our society.
arNe DuNcaN, us secreTarY of eDucaTioN


Ensuring that ALL American children can access a quality education is the civil rights issue of our time. We cannot stand idly by and allow this institutionalized inequality to continue.
JohN LegeND, recorDiNg arTisT, coNcerT performer aND phiLaNThropisT

Courtesy of U.S. Army

In 1954, a landmark and unanimous decision handed down by the United States Supreme Court declared that racial segregation in public schooling was unconstitutional. In his majority opinion to Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Chief Justice Earl Warren writes:

Unfortunately, over the last 56 years, the U.S. education system has failed to provide far too many low-income and minority children with access to the high-quality education they need to compete on a level playing field with their white, affluent peers. · + According to Teach For America, fourth graders growing up in low-income communities are already, on average, three years behind their peers in highincome communities · + By 12th grade, these students have fallen four years behind their middle- and high-income peers · + Only about 50 percent of lowincome students will graduate from high school by the time they are 18 years old · + At America’s leading 150 colleges, 90 percent of incoming freshmen come from families with annual household incomes in the top 50 percent · + Only one in 10 low-income students will go on to graduate from college

Library of Congress

“In these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity, where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.”


There is growing awareness of the magnitude of problems facing our country’s education system—and of our ability to fix them. In response to Davis Guggenheim’s recent documentary, Waiting for “Superman,” an increasing number of people have said that they are done waiting. What used to be a second-tier policy conversation dominated by institutional interests is now increasingly a national priority; what used to be small ripples of reform in individual cities are starting to form a tidal wave of action. It is truly incredible to see how far the conversation has come since the early days of Amistad Academy in 1999—and how high-performing, public charter schools have played a central role in inspiring this level of attention, optimism and urgency. The example of several inspirational superintendents and a few hundred gap-closing, public charter schools has helped to elevate the entire national conversation. Not only are we now having this conversation in countless venues, but there is a fire to it that we haven’t seen before, sparked by the federal government’s Race to the Top competition and fanned by hardworking students, teachers, school leaders, parents and partners. For gap-closing schools that are driving the conversation, we can look to our own network of 5,400 students climbing the mountain to college. In Connecticut, Achievement First has closed the achievement gap at both the elementary and middle school levels, with our students consistently surpassing statewide averages after four years at an AF school. In June 2010, Achievement First graduated its first senior class, with 100 percent of its students accepted into four-year colleges or universities. Achievement First students are themselves acting as revolutionary proof points in the national conversation by showing that inner-city students can achieve at the same high levels found within affluent communities. The dam of the status quo is cracking under the pressure of this quiet revolution—but it will only give way if smart, committed people like you and those found within our 19 schools become engaged, demand more and show the way to a better future. Whether at dinner parties or on blogs or at town hall meetings, you should work to make sure your passion, urgency and opinions are heard.

Fortunately, the public, and our leaders in government, are finally paying attention. The Waiting for “Superman” documentary, the defeat of D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million gift to newark’s public schools, and a tidal wave of media attention have helped spark a national debate and presented us with an extraordinary opportunity.
JoeL kLeiN, NYc schooLs chaNceLLor

As complicated as we have made [the debate], it boils down to what parents already know: It’s all about great teachers, it’s all about who’s standing in front of the kids every morning.
Davis guggeNheim, DirecTor, waiTiNg for “supermaN”


very little is invested in understanding great teaching. We’ve never had a meaningful evaluation system that identifies the dimensions of great teachers so we can transfer the skills to others.
BiLL gaTes


As the nationwide conversation intensifies, a quiet revolution is taking place within Achievement First through a powerful new initiative to recognize effective teachers that has the potential for widespread impact.

Currently, at almost every public school in this country, teaching salaries are based solely on seniority and earned graduate degrees—two “seat time” inputs that mean that compensation for teachers has no direct tie to performance or effectiveness. In terms of annual evaluations and continued employment, most teachers receive one-dimensional, subjective evaluations that do not include an explicit focus on student achievement results. For those with tenure, it is incredibly difficult and time consuming, if not impossible, to terminate a teacher simply for being ineffective. With Race to the Top’s focus on performance-based teacher evaluation, much of this is changing. Achievement First knows that great teaching is the biggest driver of high student achievement and has been working for the last 18 months to create a new evaluation process and “career pathway” to define, develop, reward and sustain excellence in teaching. The Teacher Career Pathway provides increased compensation and differentiated professional development based on a teacher’s proven effectiveness.

Specifically, AF’s Teacher Career Pathway provides: · + Significant salary increases for all teachers who demonstrate effectiveness, with the greatest increases (more than $20,000 over current scales) for the most effective teachers · + Holistic evaluation of teacher outcomes and inputs, including a teacher’s valueadded contribution to student achievement and a teacher’s influence on student character development · + Rewards that include development opportunities and recognition, in addition to salary increases · + School-wide performance bonuses that reward team achievement and individual salary increases that celebrate individual teacher effectiveness For the first time, outcome measurements include both student achievement and student character education, and input measurements are spread across multiple assessments throughout the year (instead of an isolated lesson observation or test score) conducted by a wide range

of partners: school principal, regional superintendent, peers, parents, students and a personal teacher coach. Individual teachers will have a well-defined career path to become master teachers with potential salaries over $100,000, and all team members in a school could earn a bonus of up to 10 percent of their salary based on the overall success of the school. Master teachers will also benefit from self-directed professional development budgets of $2,500 per year and other learning and recognition opportunities. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded Achievement First a grant to support the development of the Teacher Career Pathway. This initial investment then led to a $6.3 million Teacher Incentive Fund grant from the U.S. Department of Education that we will invest directly over the next five years into compensation and other rewards for our best teachers. We owe much of this success to our partnerships with other districts and charter management organizations—and to The New Teacher Project, which advised us in our design and communications.


The next wave of the revolution is focused on an active partnership to share and replicate best practices. With that in mind, Achievement First is excited to work with New Haven Public Schools to launch an innovative leadership development program to recruit, train and support a corps of outstanding principals and assistant principals for New Haven’s highest-need schools.
Public charter schools and traditional public school districts have historically had an adversarial relationship—with traditional districts often trying to dismiss or even actively undermine the success of charters, and charters taking a purely competitive and, at times, equally undermining approach to working with districts. In the past, there has been little to no dialogue between the two groups about our shared work. However, in a growing number of cities, we are now seeing a quiet revolution in partnership, and Achievement First is proud to act as a pioneer in this collaborative work. The first wave of the revolution started with visionary leaders like Chancellor Joel Klein in New York City and Superintendent Steven Adamowski in Hartford who worked to actively recruit top charter operators to their cities, inviting them to become a key part of city-wide reform initiatives and providing free access to public school facilities and other resources. They have energetically supported the success of public charters and the city students they serve. In these “portfolio” cities, the focus is no longer on a school’s governance structure but instead on how well schools perform. The next wave of the revolution is focused on an active partnership to share and replicate best practices. With that in mind, Achievement First is excited to work with New Haven Public Schools to launch an innovative leadership development program to recruit, train and support a corps of outstanding principals and assistant principals for New Haven’s highest-need schools. This pipeline of future leaders will receive one year of full-time training and coaching, enabling them to leverage the best practices of high-performing schools from both the charter and traditional district sectors. The Residency Program in School Leadership combines experiential residencies, seminar-style learning and intense individualized coaching—with candidates taking part in two residencies over the course of one academic year (four to seven months each), first at a high-performing Achievement First school and then at a top New Haven public school. In each school, candidates will be mentored by an outstanding principal, given specific leadership responsibilities, and receive focused feedback on their growth and development as a school leader. Candidates will also receive formal training to develop key school leadership skills by expert practitioners from Achievement First, New Haven and the broader education reform world. Following the residencies, candidates who meet competency standards will be placed in New Haven Public Schools as assistant principals or principals. Program alumni will also continue to receive access to Achievement First professional development opportunities, change management coaching and school turnaround planning assistance. This unique partnership is a key aspect of the district’s broader School Change Initiative to close the achievement gap between New Haven students and the state-wide average, to cut the student dropout rate in half, and to ensure that every graduating student has the academic preparation and resources to attend and succeed in college. Developing strong leaders for New Haven’s highest-need schools is a critical step toward accomplishing this bold agenda, and Achievement First is excited to co-create this important reform initiative.

increasingly, district and charter leaders are recognizing the need to learn from one another, influence each other and leverage each others’ relative strengths to solve the complex challenges we face in improving American education.
aDam porsch, program officer, BiLL & meLiNDa gaTes fouNDaTioN

Achievement First really pushes you. They believe in perseverance, climbing the mountain to college, achieving your goals and going toward what you believe in.
DYaNi wiLLis sTuDeNT, amisTaD acaDemY

Mayro Valenzuela Jr.


Mayro Valenzuela Jr. Student, elm City College Preparatory

Education is valuable because it makes you free. Many people in the world are really poor and can’t get a good education, so they can’t do well in life. Education helps you to dream big, and when you are finished and have a good education, you can think about your future. You’ll have a better life if your education was a success. You can pick the right school for yourself and get the attention and respect that you need. Your family will look up to you, and you will represent them. You can teach them and help them. You will have great value to your family and your community. I have seen unequal education before. When my mom grew up in Guatemala, she didn’t have a good education. She couldn’t get the opportunity to do what she wanted. She takes care of us, but she can’t help us too much on homework because her education was very low. Now today, my mom still goes to school to learn English and to get a better education. I come to school to accomplish my goals and be able to help my own kids someday. Right now I am just a kid, but I am evolving. Someday I will have the freedom to do anything I want to do and fulfill my big dreams.


David Hardy

At Achievement First i know that everyone does whatever it takes to give our students the love, care and top-quality instruction they need. We all end the day feeling the good, healthy exhaustion of knowing that we helped all of our students climb the mountain to college.
morgaN BarTh, priNcipaL, eLm ciTY coLLege preparaTorY eLemeNTarY

DaViD HarDy Principal, achievement First east new york Middle

For five years after college, I taught in Miami Public Schools and found myself in the middle of a widening achievement gap. I felt disheartened by the disparities that plagued the communities in which I taught, and I became accustomed to seeing others feel the kind of complacency that is driven by low expectations. From the first day of my career at Achievement First in 2007, I was grateful to be in a place where giving less than our best was not an option; not reaching our goal was something that was not even considered; complacency remained a noun— but was never used—and college became a verb. Now as the principal of AF East New York Middle, it has become easy to see why this quiet revolution is working. Walking into our building you will find 23 likeminded educators who want and expect breakthrough results—and are working with a sense of urgency and grace to ensure that our students are prepared for the complexities of life and their climb to college. It is this mindset that

has created a better track for our students to follow—one with a clear destination, purpose and expectation. Our quiet revolution hasn’t been easy or quick. It has come after countless hours of critical reflection as a team on how our students will raise their hands to participate, respectfully disagree, think critically, support their assertions with evidence and learn to believe in themselves. It is our unwavering and obsessive desire to take every detail and combine it into a prophetic symphony that creates subtle, smooth and harmonic music. However, that subtle musical undertone doesn’t just resonate at our surface. It creates a sound that permeates deep into the core of what we desire for our students. It reverberates loudly in the attitudes of our future college graduates. This sound beats in the hearts of all of us, carefully playing one note at a time to ensure that our music is of the highest quality. We call this song REFORM. It is a powerful melody that one can hear blasting from every teacher in our

school and from every message on our walls that students read, internalize and personify. We realize that we cannot wait for Superman or hope for the best from the lottery. We must actively strive for a better future, and it is the courage, passion, love and dedication of an educator that is going to take us there. Especially at this time of year, I often arrive at school before the sun rises and leave well after it has set, but not one day passes when I feel that what we do is not worth every last bit of sunlight I miss outside. I instead see the light of 200 faces that are in search of a college diploma. I am fortunate to open my eyes every morning to a revolution sparked by my work; a revolution that is quiet, yet full of vibrancy. I am causing change by creating a future of people who desire change—change that gives more of our urban youth the opportunity to obtain a great education and reap the benefits of the passion we sow as educators. That is why I am proud to be part of the Achievement First revolution.

KHaDiJaH MuHaMMaD Parent, amistad academy

an excellent education in great schools with fantastic teachers. I take pride in my 10 years with the Amistad Parent Leadership Council, and I am currently serving as its president. Achievement First creates productive citizens for today’s society. Many of our inner-city students lack access to top-notch education, despite living within walking distance of some of the best colleges and universities in the world. I asked Azizah when she will graduate from college, and she told me the answer without missing a beat: “2023”—and she said this after only her first week at Achievement First. Achievement First encourages students to include college as part of their daily routine. Closing the achievement gap is a monumental task, but my family knows that education is something that can never be taken from us. My children will utilize the knowledge they are obtaining at Achievement First to improve society for future generations.

Over the last 10 years, I have been the proud parent of four Amistad Academy students. My oldest daughter, Amirah, graduated from Amistad Academy Middle in 2005 before Achievement First had a high school. Fortunately, she was so well prepared that she still went on to excel in high school and is now enrolled in college. Shehu, my son, is a sophomore at Amistad-Elm City High, where he is enrolled in a junior-level math class, plays basketball and maintains honors status. He also received a full scholarship to participate in a Penn State science and engineering program. My middle daughter, Aminah, is in the ninth grade at Amistad-Elm City High and participates in cross country, band and musical theater. She struggled with structure and behavior during her first two years at Amistad Academy Middle. Ultimately, with dedication from the teaching staff—who we consider family—Aminah showed great improvement in her academics. She achieved honors, received the “heart” award from her principal,

played soccer and was the first violinist in the orchestra. My youngest daughter, Azizah, a fourth grader at Amistad Academy Elementary, is reading at an advanced level and loves math. She received the “R” award in REACH for respect and has followed in her brother’s footsteps as an orange belt in Tang Soo Doo martial arts.

Parent Profile

All of my children are an inspiration to me, and I am very proud of their achievements. When Azizah asked me a couple of years ago when I received my college degree, it was my wake-up call to go back and get the education I was now pushing them to achieve. Going back to school after 10 years was very hard, but maintaining the 4.0 average was even harder— especially since my children check my academic progress every day. My children ask, “Could you have done better? Nothing less than an A, Mom. Try harder next time.” I am fortunate to have four wonderful kids who are receiving


Khadijah Muhammad

When i walk into an Achievement First school, sometimes I just want to pause and hang out for a little while because it’s so electric. The teachers and the faculty are just so interested—each and every one of them—and so engaged in what they are doing.
chrisTopher champioN, pareNT, amisTaD acaDemY

Dan WeiSBerG The new Teacher Project

In 2009, we released a paper on teacher evaluation and dismissal, “The Widget Effect,” based on our study of 12 diverse school districts across four states, involving surveys of over 15,000 teachers and examinations of over 40,000 personnel records. Though abundant research reflects that teachers are the most powerful school-based factor in student academic success or failure, and that different teachers obtain dramatically different outcomes, we found that our policies are based on a false assumption that one teacher is just as good as any other. In every district we studied, regardless of size and student demographics, virtually all teachers were rated as being good or great, excellent teachers were ignored, teachers were not provided with quality feedback and support, novices received no special attention, and poor performance was widely tolerated. Since the release of “The Widget Effect,” significant changes in laws and policies have occurred that parallel the quiet revolution occurring at Achievement First and elsewhere. Twelve states, responsible for educating one in four U.S. children, have changed their laws on teacher evaluation to make evaluation more meaningful and rigorous. Teacher and principal evaluation was a key

component of the Obama Administration’s innovative Race to the Top program, and the 12 states that won the competitive grant program are hard at work implementing reform plans focused on improving educator effectiveness. At The New Teacher Project, we work with a number of these states and districts on redesigning their teacher and principal evaluation and development systems, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to work with Achievement First to support its Career Pathway work. Achievement First’s Career Pathway initiative is entirely consistent with its core beliefs around the paramount importance of its people. However, we know from our work around the country that talking about breaking out of the mold of traditional evaluation, compensation and career pathways is one thing; changing systems that teachers and school leaders are used to and have come to rely on without disrupting a truly positive culture is another thing entirely. We are impressed with the design of Achievement First’s Career Pathway initiative—it truly is state of the art in setting clear and ambitious performance standards, providing quality

feedback against those standards from multiple source evaluators, and providing recognition and rewards for excellent teachers. But Achievement First also understands something we have learned well—design matters, but implementation matters just as much. So, for example, Achievement First is investing a lot of time and effort designing a data system to support the initiative because a good evaluation and career pathway system won’t be of much use to the organization if the data on teacher performance and development aren’t captured outside of a spreadsheet on a principal’s computer. Achievement First is also investing significant time engaging with its teachers and school leaders, ensuring that educators are well-informed and that they have ample opportunity to share their practitioners’ perspectives to shape implementation. As we see so much progress being made across the country on policies and practices that affect teachers, it is truly exciting to be involved in the progress being made at Achievement First and to see the impact that the initiatives have on its schools, teachers and students—and, through their powerful example, on the broader education reform movement.


Charter schools are not the only solution—but the strategies that have been proven in charter schools are the solution— solutions that can be replicated in all schools using existing funds. let’s not allow the contrived charter versus public school argument distract us from providing quality schools for all children.
JohN LegeND recorDiNg arTisT, coNcerT performer aND phiLaNThropisT

onLY 1 in 10 low-income students in the u.S. graduates from college

Achievement First students work hard every day to climb the mountain to college. Our students make this climb with the help of effective instruction from great teachers and leaders, a longer school day and school year, a rigorous college-prep curriculum, assessments that track their progress and inform re-teaching and tutoring, and a disciplined, joyful and achievement-oriented school culture. At Achievement First, it is cool to be smart and everyone feels cared for as a part of an extended school family.

Despite the promise of equal educational opportunity, the United States has largely failed to provide low-income children access to a high-quality education. The difference in academic performance between poor and affluent students, known as the achievement gap, has serious implications for the future life opportunities of students and for our society at large. With only one in 10 low-income students in the U.S. graduating from college, closing the achievement gap is both an economic and moral imperative—the modern frontier of the civil rights movement.

Over the last 10 years, thanks to the example set by individual, high-performing schools across the country, conventional wisdom has shifted from a belief that “demographics are destiny” to an acknowledgment that success is possible for all students. Education reform skeptics now question whether success is possible at scale.

Stephanie Montufar Graduate, Amistad-Elm City High


Achievement First’s theory of change is that by creating the equivalent of a high-performing urban public school “district,” we prove that the achievement gap can be closed at scale and can thus inspire and inform broader district-wide reform efforts. Our current strategic plan calls for us to expand from 19 to 34 schools, eventually serving more than 12,000 students. At this size, we will serve more students than 95 percent of school districts in the United States. As we develop the Achievement First network, we are guided by three big goals: quality, scale and sustainability. We remain committed to creating the kind of top-quality schools our students need and deserve, and to doing so at a meaningful scale and with a per-student cost equal to or less than that of our host public school districts.



ConnCAN Top 10 Rankings 2010
#1 African-American elementary school
student performance (Elm City College Prep)

#1 African-American middle school
student performance (Amistad Academy)

#3 Hispanic middle school student
performance (AF Bridgeport Academy)
New haven

#4 African-American middle school
student performance (AF Bridgeport Academy)


* Amistad Academy Elementary * Amistad Academy Middle * Amistad-Elm City High * Elm City College Preparatory Elementary * Elm City College Preparatory Middle * Achievement First Bridgeport Academy Elementary * Achievement First Bridgeport Academy Middle * Achievement First Hartford Academy Elementary * Achievement First Hartford Academy Middle

#5 African-American high school
student performance (Amistad-Elm City)

#5 Overall elementary school
performance gains (Elm City College Prep)

#6 Overall middle school performance
gains (AF Hartford Academy)

#7 African-American elementary school
student performance (Amistad Academy)

· + Achievement First schools are prominently featured in ConnCAN’s annual Top 10 lists, which highlight schools state-wide that are serving as exemplars in closing the achievement gap. We are especially pleased to be ranked #1 in the state in AfricanAmerican performance at both the elementary and middle school levels (see sidebar for a complete list of Achievement First rankings). · + One-hundred percent of AmistadElm City High’s inaugural senior class was accepted into four-year colleges and universities, with an average of more than four college acceptances per student. · + Achievement First opened one new school in Connecticut in 2010. AF Bridgeport Academy Elementary opened in the fall, welcoming a class of 91 kindergarteners. · + Achievement First Bridgeport Academy Middle piloted Life Prep, an innovative character education curriculum designed to teach character values as explicitly as academics. As a part of this, the school conducted a penny drive that yielded nearly $1,200 for 11 local charities, with students volunteering at one of the 11 “adopted” charities. · + Kiara Fuller, a member of Amistad Academy Middle’s first graduating class in 2002 and a 2010 Connecticut College graduate, became the first Amistad Academy alum to return to work at Achievement First. In July 2010, she became the office coordinator at Amistad-Elm City High.

#7 Low-income middle school student
performance (Amistad Academy)

#7 African-American middle school
student performance (Elm City College Prep)

#8 Low-income elementary school
student performance (Elm City College Prep)

#8 Low-income middle school student
performance (AF Bridgeport Academy)

#9 Hispanic elementary school student
performance (Amistad Academy)

#9 Hispanic middle school student
performance (Amistad Academy)

#9 Overall middle school performance
gains (Amistad Academy)
*Compared to all CT schools

· + Our Connecticut schools—which + At Amistad Academy Middle were already heralded as local, state and national exemplars— had their best year yet, posting student achievement scores that increased an average of seven points across all subjects, an impressive gain for a single year. Seventy-five percent of our fourth-grade students—selected by lottery from our big cities, overwhelmingly poor—performed “at goal” on the state test versus only 64 percent for poor/nonpoor students state-wide and 39 percent for poor students. Seventy-nine percent of our eighth-graders performed “at goal” versus 68 percent for poor/ non-poor students state-wide and 41 percent for poor students. We are especially pleased with our network-wide math performance, which has now completely closed the achievement gap for parity with the wealthiest districts in the state. in New Haven, math, reading and writing scores were similar to those attained by schools in affluent communities like Madison and Guilford. Eighty-four percent of Amistad’s eighth graders scored at or above goal on the Connecticut Mastery Test in math, with 76 percent meeting this goal in reading and 88 percent achieving the state goal in writing. · + Achievement First Bridgeport Academy Middle continued its trend of significantly raising student achievement. The school welcomed its inaugural class of fifth-grade students in 2007, when only 40 percent of students met or exceeded goal in math, 36 percent in reading and 33 percent in writing on the Connecticut Mastery Test. After three years at AF Bridgeport Academy Middle, 79 percent of these now seventhgrade students scored at or above goal in math, 66 percent in reading and 77 percent in writing. · + Achievement First Hartford Academy’s inaugural middle school class, which entered the school in fifth grade in 2008, also showed similar progress. In the fifth grade, only 55 percent of students were at goal in math, 31 percent in reading and 50 percent in writing. After their second year at AF Hartford Academy Middle, significant improvement is evident with 68 percent of students meeting or exceeding goal in math, 49 percent in reading and 61 percent in writing. · + Our Connecticut schools also provide an exciting story that school turnaround is possible. Elm City College Prep Elementary has made significant gains over the last three years, continually reaching for excellence. With a 47 percent overall mastery level in 2008 for its third graders on the Connecticut Mastery Test, the school set itself on an assertive path to close the achievement gap with Connecticut’s non-poor students. The school made a resounding leap in 2009 to 56 percent at goal on the thirdgrade CMT, and in 2010 hit 61 percent at goal—two percentage points above the state’s average. Elm City’s fourth graders outperformed the state’s average by 11 percentage points.


The school-wide average for submitting homework was The school raised over

for the entire year

in the “AmeriCares Pennies for Haiti” relief campaign

Principal: Amanda Alonzy Opened: August 2006 Grades: K to 4 Number of students: 408
Students can participate in a variety of

extracurricular activities, including
pom-poms, Drill Team, sparring, physics, Math Club and other exciting opportunities

Principal: Katherine Baker Opened: August 2010 Grades: Kindergarten Number of students: 91
Over 50 percent of the

Students collected holiday goods for families with the greatest need in a

Thanksgiving food drive
As one of two new schools in the network, the school held a “get to know our parents and extended families” potluck—and 85% in the celebration of families came to join

school’s parents attended a

Parent Reading Night,
where Joshua Prince autographed his book, I Saw an Ant on the Railroad Track, and donated a copy to every student

Principal: Claire Shin Opened: August 2008 Grades: K to 3 Number of students: 352

11 second graders trained for three months during an after-school club to participate in the Hartford Kid’s

Marathon. Of these students, nine registered for
the marathon and completed the 1.2 mile race.

Fountas & Pinnell test

of students in kindergarten through second grade are reading at or above grade level, according to the

of team members believe that all colleagues are committed to doing topquality work

Principal: Morgan Barth Opened: August 2004 Grades: K to 4 Number of students: 296

The school hosted an annual “Taste

Nations” potluck dinner where students and
parents brought a dish representing their family and wrote a story or created a poster about their culture


The school is listed as a

success story school
significant student performance gains

More than

100 Parents
attended the third annual “Parent Reading Mania Night”—a workshop to teach parents how to use the school’s reading strategies to support their children at home

by ConnCAN based on



85% 100%
of students achieved mastery in seventhgrade reading of students achieved proficiency in sixth-grade math—the first 100% milestone in Achievement First Connecticut history

Principal: Matthew Taylor Opened: July 1999 Grades: 5 to 8 Number of students: 295
On average, our fifth during a single year

graders grew by 1.86 years in reading

Principal: Challa Flemming Opened: August 2007 Grades: 5 to 8 Number of students: 320
Over 230

51 students traveled to Atlanta, GA for five

days to visit colleges and
performance results The Art Club won

museums and celebrate high


showcased a piece of their artwork at the school’s first annual art show, with over 100 families and community members in attendance, including the mayor of Bridgeport

“Best Whimsical scarecrow” with a
Michael Jackson-inspired entry into the annual Scarecrow Competition at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo


Principal: Jeff House Opened: August 2008 Grades: 5 to 7 Number of students: 258
The school has partnered with the

are still part of the team

After three years,

Students raised over

for the “Hope for Haiti” campaign

Artists Collective
to provide vocal lessons during the week

of the school’s founding teachers

Eighth graders visited NYU for a panel discussion with

Principal: Rebecca Good Opened: August 2004 Grades: 5 to 8 Number of students: 217

graduate students at the Tisch School of Arts and a tour

of the university, while sixth graders held a
“Goldilocks and the Three Bears”

mock trial with law students at Yale Law School based on

On its annual parent survey


The school participated in

Tent City, a fundraiser to support the emergency overflow shelter in New Haven, with students setting up tents on the New Haven Green and learning more about homelessness

of Elm City parents are pleased with the quality of teachers at the school,

98% of parents believe the

school has very high academic standards and a rigorous curriculum

Principal: Jeff Sudmyer Opened: August 2006 Grades: 9 to 12 Number of students: 194
By the end of their senior year, students have the opportunity to earn The Amistad-Elm City High Wolves competed in Connecticut

Principal: Paul Adler Opened: August 2009 Grades: 9 to 10 Number of students: 112

13 UConn credits

Interscholastic Athletic Conference sanctioned
games for the first time in basketball and volleyball

All students participate in 90

of students passed the Living Environment Regents Exam

All students participate in a pre-college


10 students participated in the

experience or internship over
the summer at campuses such as Yale University, Bryn Mawr College, Penn State University and University of Maryland

of a leadership seminar and community circle each week, where they recognize character gains, work on character needs and perform community service

New York state school Music Association “Vocal
Adjudication Festival” and scored Excellent or better; two received scores of Outstanding


oWn iT. FiX iT. lEARN FROM IT.


Bushwick Brownsville crown heights east New York

* Achievement First Apollo Elementary * Achievement First Brooklyn High * Achievement First Brownsville Elementary * Achievement First Bushwick Elementary * Achievement First Bushwick Middle * Achievement First Crown Heights Elementary * Achievement First Crown Heights Middle * Achievement First East New York Elementary * Achievement First East New York Middle * Achievement First Endeavor Middle

A 7-year-old girl won’t make it to college someday because her teacher has two decades of experience or a master’s degree—she will make it to college if her teacher is effective and engaging and compels her to reach for success.
JoeL kLeiN NYc schooLs chaNceLLor

· + In August 2010, we opened another new AF school in Brooklyn, Achievement First Apollo, with 176 kindergarteners and first graders. Achievement First is now serving 3,000 Brooklyn students—more than any other charter management organization in New York. · + Both Achievement First Crown Heights and Achievement First East New York received full fiveyear charter renewals by the New York State Board of Regents. In addition, the SUNY Charter Schools Institute approved a new charter for Achievement First Aspire, which is scheduled to open in East New York in August 2012. This marks the seventh charter AF has received to operate schools in New York. · + Achievement First has partnered with Democracy Builders, a charter school advocacy organization, to assist our parents in voicing support for AF schools and students.

In 2010, New York State significantly raised the standard for the score necessary to reach proficiency on the annual state test. State leaders had conducted an analysis that showed that students who had been scoring “proficient” under the old standard would often still need to take remedial courses before they could start college. When they raised the standard, scores across the state—and at Achievement First—plummeted. We applaud the political courage of the education commissioner and Board of Regents and think this was exactly the right thing to do. However, the new standard led to a real wake-up call at Achievement First. Instead of having 99 percent of our third and fourth graders (across three different elementary schools in Brooklyn) achieve at proficiency in math, under the new regime only 76 percent scored proficient in math. In English Language Arts, the old regime would have meant 83 percent of our elementary school students were proficient. The new bar revealed a new, brutal fact: only 46 percent of our elementary students had the reading skills they need. Many organizations experience dips or challenges, and the real test of the strength of an organization is how it responds to these challenges. In response to the 2010 New York results, there was a resounding chorus of “not good enough” and real urgency to get it right within Achievement First. On what could have been a grim day for Achievement First, the day we received our lower scores will likely prove to be one of the most crucial turning points for us as an organization. Now more than ever, we are laser-focused on helping our students get the great, gap-closing education they need and deserve.

Principal: Stacey Park Opened: August 2006 Grades: K to 4 Number of students: 426



percent of team members feel their colleagues are committed to doing top-quality work

In addition to offering

The college graduating class of 2022 (fourth graders) took their first trip to sUNY Albany and experienced a mock class in a lecture hall, had lunch in the school cafeteria and toured one of the dorms

afterschool drama
club, martial arts, chorus, yoga, soccer, French and Spanish classes, the school has partnered with The Piano School of New York to offer piano lessons to students

Principal: Hilary Cymrot Opened: August 2005 Grades: K to 4 Number of students: 431

Principal: Marin Smith Opened: August 2005 Grades: K to 4 Number of students: 415

100% 99.7%
of team members feel that their professional growth is encouraged and supported of families agree that the school has very high academic standards and a rigorous curriculum

Students, staff and parents participate in a school-wide

percent of team members say they are personally contributing to Achievement First’s mission The school achieved

major math gains
on the Terra Nova test, a nationally normed standardized test used to evaluate math achievement in grades K-2, doubling scores in second grade and significantly increasing scores in kindergarten


of families agree that their child goes to a great school assembly every four weeks to highlight the monthly service project and celebrate homework and attendance awards

Principal: Gina Ribiero Opened: August 2008 Grades: K to 3 Number of students: 340 93% of students
in the founding class of 2024 now read at or above grade level, with 60% at least a year above grade level, despite having entered first grade with only 6% reading at grade level The school had 100% parent attendance for fall report card conferences, giving every family the opportunity to discuss student progress in all academic areas, and every teacher the opportunity to learn more about the students

Principal: Jabari Sims Opened: August 2010 Grades: K to 1 Number of students: 179


percent of parents have already volunteered at least twice at the school during the first three months of the academic year The school has partnered with

Every six weeks, students focus on a particular

REACH value; in its first
cycle as a new school this year, 80 percent of students demonstrated mastery of the “Respect” value, as assessed by classroom observations

Fit4life Kids
to provide daily Capoeira classes for its kindergarteners and first graders

The school’s family leadership council, teachers and students work together to host three school-wide Arts and Culture Nights each year, where children have the opportunity to show their skills in music, dance and art




great teaching

Seventh graders

percent of team members feel that the principal values and creates a culture of

closed the achievement gap in math,
scoring higher than affluent Scarsdale

Principal: Amy D’Angelo Opened: August 2007 Grades: 5 to 8 Number of students: 333

98% 99%
student attendance teacher attendance


Principal: David Hardy Opened: August 2009 Grades: 5 to 6 Number of students: 174
Students performed The Lion King at the end of the year and have taken

99% #1
The school ranked of parents believe that great school and #2 in the AF-wide Spelling Bee their student attends a

First Place in spoken word competitions
throughout New York City

Principal: Wells Blanchard Opened: August 2005 Grades: 5 to 8 Number of students: 296

Students in the

orchestra program practice

intensively during and after school to prepare for performances at the school’s Black History Month celebration, the Crown Heights Affair school assembly and off-campus venues like Lincoln Center Students can participate in a variety of enrichment and

The lower school Math Team competed in the Charter School Math League, taking

First Place in the
individual and team categories

activities, including step team, basketball, photography, dance, track and chess

Principal: Tom Kaiser Opened: August 2006 Grades: 5 to 8 Number of students: 304

All students participate in 60 minutes of life


seminars and a 45-minute community circle each week where teachers introduce real-life examples of REACH in action

Book clubs, literature circles and guided reading groups provide an additional 45 to 90 minutes of reading per day to an already rigorous English Language Arts curriculum

Teachers and school leaders log at least five calls to every parent each week to provide status updates on student behavior and academic performance and build

strong relationships

with the greater AF Endeavor family


no EXCUsEs


*CSD 17 and state values are from 2008-09 (since 2009-10 values are not yet publicly available)


Unwavering Focus on Student Achievement All Achievement First teachers and principals are focused on completely closing the achievement gap for our students, and student performance is the chief factor in school, principal and teacher evaluations. Talent Development Achievement First firmly believes that the most important determinant of student achievement is the quality of the teacher in the classroom. Likewise, the quality of school leaders is the most important driver of teacher success. Achievement First goes to great lengths to recruit, develop, recognize and retain a team of talented teachers and school leaders. All new Achievement First school leaders train for an entire year before launching a new school, and all new Achievement First teachers participate in nearly three weeks of professional development. Achievement First schools release early on Fridays to provide two additional hours of staff meeting and learning time. Every Achievement First teacher has a coach (a principal, dean or master teacher) who meets with them at least once every two weeks to provide individual coaching and support. More Time on Task The Achievement First school day is nearly two hours longer than the traditional public school day, allowing many students to have two reading classes and an extended math class every day. Tutoring is available during and after school, an average of one to two hours of homework is assigned per night, and an intensive independent reading program is prioritized so that students READ, READ, READ both at home and at school. In addition, the Achievement First school year is at least two weeks longer than the traditional school year. Over the course of a K to 12 education, this extra time amounts to one additional year of instruction. Rigorous Curriculum Achievement First outlines the ambitious academic standards that all Achievement First students are expected to master at each grade level, so that success in one grade can be seamlessly built on in the next. Teachers understand that “covering material” is not our goal; what is important is how well students master the essential knowledge and skills. Strategic Use of Data and Interventions for Struggling Students Every six weeks, Achievement First teachers give interim assessments (IAs) that measure whether students have actually mastered what we have taught them. These results are then uploaded to AF Athena, a custom-built assessment system. Teachers and principals spend a Data Day after each IA dedicated to reviewing the individual assessments and together creating data-driven instructional plans that target whole class, small group and one-on-one instruction to address any gaps in student learning.


Strong School Culture Immediately upon entering an Achievement First school, you can feel a sense of urgency, order, focus and joy. Key elements of Achievement First’s school culture include the following: Commitment to character education: All students live by the REACH values (Respect, Enthusiasm, Achievement, Citizenship and Hard Work). Our goal is to develop well-rounded students, and we teach these character values as explicitly as we teach academics. Sweating the small stuff: In many urban schools, teachers and leaders “pick their battles,” only addressing egregious instances of poor behavior. Achievement First, on the other hand, has adopted sociologist

James Q. Wilson’s “broken windows” theory that even small details can have a significant effect on overall culture, and we believe that students will rise to the level of expectations adults have for them. College focus: The message at Achievement First schools is that all students are going to college. We continuously expose students to college—all of our classrooms are named after universities, and students make field trips to college campuses, hear speakers talk about college, write research papers on colleges and, most important, master a college-preparatory curriculum. From the moment our students arrive, they know what year they are expected to graduate from college (our current kindergarteners are known as the “Class of 2027”).

Teachers know and care: Achievement First schools are small learning communities in which all teachers and leaders know the names of all students. Every Achievement First school has some form of advisory program so that teachers are able to develop meaningful relationships with each student in their advisory. Parents as partners: At Achievement First schools, parents, students and leaders all sign a contract that outlines their shared commitment to hard work and consistent support of one another. While this contract is not legally binding, it is an important symbolic commitment and plays an integral role in strengthening the relationship between parents and the school.

Uniforms: All Achievement First students wear their school’s chosen uniform. Joy factor: Achievement First believes that great education should be rigorous AND fun, challenging AND engaging, structured AND joyful. In fact, we coach teachers to ensure that the J-Factor (the “joy factor”) is high in every class and dominates regular schoolwide celebrations. Students are frequently and systematically recognized for academic achievement and good behavior.


Our Network Finances
(2009-10 unaudited financials)

Network Expenses
4,142,953 4,158,198 284,570 8,585,721

Management Fees Philanthropy Other Total Revenues

Personnel Expenses Non-personnel Expenses Total Expenses (before depreciation) 6,412,564 2,058,142 8,470,706

16% 24%

Surplus/(Deficit) (before depreciation)
Depreciation Expense 115,014 239,871 (124,857)

Surplus/(Deficit) (after depreciation) Athena*
Revenues Expenses Surplus/(Deficit)

19% 22%

1,021,801 950,656 71,145 Curriculum, Prof. Dev. & School Support

*Athena™ is Achievement First’s custom-built, web-based interim assessment platform, providing performance data analysis and knowledge management for teachers and school leaders to create data-driven instructional battle plans as they help every student climb the mountain to college. Athena is a standalone software platform that is independently managed by Achievement First’s Network Support team.

Talent Development & Recruiting General, Administrative & FInancial Development & Community Relations Operations & IT Depreciation

President Barack obama got this one exactly right when he said that whoever “out-educates us today is going to out-compete us tomorrow.”
Thomas frieDmaN, The New York Times

America’s GDP would have been $2.3 trillion higher in 2008 if we had closed the gap in educational performance between ourselves and nations like Finland and Korea.
mckiNseY & compaNY

Our School Finances
(All figures are from 2008-09 when the latest district data was available)

NEW YORK Achievement First Model

CONNECTICUT Achievement First Model

Achievement First operates college-preparatory public charter schools at a per-student cost equal to or less than its host public school districts in New York and Connecticut.
*Host district per-pupil data is based on 2008-09 budgets. The amount was adjusted to control for expenses provided in-kind to Achievemet First, such as facilities, food service and transportation.

Revenue, Philanthropy Revenue, Federal Revenue, State and District Facility Operating Expenses Non-Personnel, Non-Program Expenses Non-Personnel, Program Expenses Personnel Expenses Host District Expenses

Design: Pentagram Photograph: Peter Mauss, Esto

Achievement First has surpassed one million square feet of space dedicated for educational use across our network. Providing suitable facilities is a constant challenge for all public charter schools, and Achievement First has made great progress toward meeting this goal. Our facilities success is possible through generous support from donors, cooperative partnerships with local school districts and effective assistance from support organizations.

· + Our spectacular 190,000square-foot Brooklyn high school facility opened in August 2010. The space is shared with Uncommon Schools, a cousin charter management organization. This facility looks and feels highly collegiate and does not miss a single opportunity to provide inspiration for students on their way to college. This incredible property was made possible by the generosity of the Robin Hood Foundation in partnership with the New York City Department of Education. · + Construction was completed in Brooklyn on the Waverly building which is home to AF Endeavor Middle and our Achievement First Network Support offices for New York. The certificate of occupancy was received in December 2009 and AF Endeavor Middle moved into the facility in February 2010. Of particular note are the spectacular fourthfloor, two-story library and incredible seventh-floor rooftop play field overlooking Brooklyn. This $55 million project was built in partnership with the New York City Department of Education and Civic Builders. · + Our remaining New York schools continue to occupy facilities provided by the New York City Department of Education, thanks to the strong support of public charter schools by Chancellor Joel Klein and Mayor Michael Bloomberg.


· + Construction began at the former Dwight School at 130 Edgewood Avenue in New Haven. This will become the permanent home for Amistad Academy Elementary and Middle. The $32 million project includes renovation of the former school and construction of a two-story addition. Funding has been provided through private support and a $24 million state grant, the first of its kind for a public charter school in Connecticut. The building is on schedule to open in August 2011. · + Elm City College Preparatory Middle in New Haven received an HVAC upgrade, masonry repairs and replacement windows this summer. The old boilers were replaced with more efficient models, a chiller was added to provide much-needed air conditioning during Summer Academy and the drafty windows were replaced. This $1.4 million capital investment will reduce the ongoing operating costs of the building and will provide a higher quality, more comfortable learning environment for our students year-round. · + Achievement First partnered with Hartford Public Schools to renovate the Lewis Fox Middle School located at 305 Greenfield Street. This building has great common spaces—including two full-size gyms and an auditorium—and will serve as the permanent home for AF Hartford Academy Elementary and Middle. This year, Achievement First and Hartford Public Schools together invested a total of $1.2 million into the building to bring it up to current code, reconfigure space to meet our programmatic needs and infuse the building with Achievement First personality. The building opened for our middle school in August 2010, with a second round of renovations planned to ready space on the second floor for our elementary school to join in July 2011. · + We purchased the former Garfield School at 655 Stillman Street from the City of Bridgeport and renovated the space to make it ready for AF Bridgeport Academy Elementary. The first class of kindergarteners arrived in August 2010. Through these renovations, Achievement First put a strong emphasis on local hiring and is proud to report that 40 percent of the hard construction costs went directly to Bridgeport-based businesses. · + We have started design work to add a new gymnasium to AF Bridgeport Academy Middle, located at 529 Noble Avenue. Currently, these students do not have an indoor recreation area nor is there any assembly space that can fit the entire student body. We anticipate that construction will begin in the spring of 2011.

We are profoundly grateful and appreciative of the support displayed by our many benefactors. Your gifts sustain and inspire our aspiring students and dedicated teachers. Thank you!

Bruce and Christine Alexander Steve Anbinder Dave Anderson Anonymous Elaine Appellof and Jerry Saunders Dr. Walter and Mrs. Diane Ariker Mary Arnstein Avlyn Ashterman-Reece Jon Atkeson Rhett Austell Martha Banks Morgan Barth Richard and Ilene Barth Gary and Myrna Baskin Jonathan Beane Dr. Eric and Mrs. Ethel Berger William R. Berkley Beverly Beutel Diahann Billings-Burford Andrew and Carol Boas Doug Borchard Jonathan Brandt Harold and Rachel Brooks Robert and Holly Burt Julie Burton and George G. Sharrard Guido and Anne Calabresi Henry Clark III Thomas Cody David L. Cohen Justin Cohen Richard and Ann Cohen William Cohen Brian Cole Brooke A. Connolly Michael and Joyce Critelli William Curran Sarah Curtis-Bey Kevin and Katrin Czinger Tony Davis and Suzy Franczak Nancy DeLisi Milton and Margaret DeVane Carolyn Downey Susan B. and Thomas Dunn Meyer Dworkin Andrew and Eileen Eder David and Cindy Eigen Dr. Steven Eisen and Dr. Emily Littman-Eisen Emily Eisenlohr Greg Eisner Martin Erb Jim Essey Daniel and Elizabeth Esty John and Katharine Esty Kelly Evans Susan Evans Eric and Anne Ferguson Richard and Marissa Ferguson

Barry and Pamela Fingerhut Catherine Frantzis Denise Gallucci Lyn Gammill Walker Viral Gandhi Isaac Gerber Chris and Toddie Getman Frank and Marjorie Gillis Lynn and Thomas Goldberg Edwin Goodman William and Jean Graustein Adam and Carolyn Greene Mr. and Mrs. Stewart Greenfield Charles and Melinda Greenlee Josh Greenman Geoff and Sheri Griffin Michael D. Griffin and Molly Butler Hart Daniel and Lesley Groff Harriett Guin-Kittner Allen Hadelman Todd Halky Marnie Halsey John and Joanna Hamby Aaron Hamer Jim and Melinda Hamilton Taylor and Amy Harmeling Mike Harris Steven Harris Steven and Marilyn Hart Elizabeth Hartzell Darrell Harvey Jonathan Hayes William and Judy Heins Malda Hibri Alexis N. Highsmith Carlton and Letamarie Highsmith Dick and Angelica Hinchcliff Kenneth M. Hirsh Norman and Sandra Jellinghaus Jeff Johnston-Keisling Richard and Lydia Kalt Shelly and Michael Kassen Jean Kelley Mary Kelly Dorsey Kendrick Shannon Kete Dr. Richard Kiley John and Barbara Kimberly Charles and Gretchen Kingsley Matt Klein Herbert Kohler Jr. Harvey Koizim Carol Kranowitz Andrew Lachman and Ruth Messinger Jean LaVecchia John and Amanda Layng Robert Lebby Ira Lederman William and Kate Lee

Richard and Jane Levin David Levinson Dr. Benjamin and Mrs. Ruth Littman Schuyler Livingston Kevin and Erika Long Henry Lord Richard and Katherine Loughlin Matthew Lucke Robert and Ann Lyons Leora Magier Stephen and Susan Mandel Joan McCabe Grant McCracken Paul and Cynthia McCraven Ian and Sonnet McKinnon Daniel G. McMahon Rachel Meisel Robert Meissner Margaret Moers Wenig Emerson Moore William B. Morris John Motley Wiley Mullins Jeffrey Myers Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Netter David Newton Harold and Sandra Noborikawa Kenneth Oba Brian and Jill Olson Peter and Beverly Orthwein Sharon Oster and Raymond Fair Tricia Pacelli and Eric Wepsic Colleen Palmer Susan Parente Patricia Pierce and Marc Rubenstein Josh and Sharon Polan Maury Povich and Constance Chung Edward Raice William Reese and Dorothy Hurt Patricia Rehfield Lystra and Renelle Richardson Morgan Rodd Gerald Rosenberg and Cheryl Wiesenfeld Karl and Elaine Rosenberger Harvey and Diane Ruben Marshall Ruben and Carolyn Greenspan Alan and Mally Rutkoff Jonathan Sackler and Mary Corson Michael and Virginia Sarezky Ken and Laura Saverin Lawrence and Gloria Schaffer Anne Schenck Jennifer L. Schiff Rebecca Schiller Gabriel Schwartz Jon Schwartz Byron Scott William Shaw Sarah Sherwood

Mark Shufro Constance Silver Bruce and Pamela Simonds Benjamin Smeal Christopher Sommers Andrew Stark John and Susan Steuer Dana and Mary Streep Lawrence and Joyce Stupski David Sullivan Anne Summers Patricia and Stedman Sweet Zebulon C. Taintor Matthew Tartaglia David Tattan Holland Taylor David Tepperman Ben Thomases Christopher and Shirley Toll Daniel Toll Mike and Monica Toll Dacia Toll and Jeffrey Klaus Ellen Torrance Kenneth and Kathleen Tropin Alexander and Dale Troy Michael S. Van Leesten Lee Vance and Cynthia King Catherine Vaughn Jay Vetter Steven Vetter Kelly Wachowicz Giselle Wagner and Paul Myerson Clifford L. Wald Mark Weissler and Nancy Voye Malcolm and Carolyn Wiener Tiger and Caroline Williams Edward and Martha Winnick Richard Witmer Hope Woodhouse and Richard Canty Rolan Young Roland and Dona Young David Zussman

Blue State Coffee, LLC Chapel Construction of New Haven, Inc. Clasp Homes Eaton Corporation Greenlight Capital Merck Partnership For Giving Monitor Company Group, LP Newman Architects The Wave, Inc. Williams Trading Wyeth Corporation Yale New Haven Hospital Yale University Yannix Management, LP


Anonymous Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Carnegie Corporation Carson Family Charitable Trust Casey Family Services Cerimon Fund Charles Hayden Foundation Charter School Growth Fund Clark Foundation Credit Suisse Americas Foundation Ensworth Charitable Trust Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Fairfield County Community Foundation Frederick DeLuca Foundation Fund for Greater Hartford George A. and Grace L. Long Foundation H. A. Vance Foundation Hartford Foundation for Public Giving Henry E. and Nancy Horton Bartels Trust Hoop-A-Paluza Foundation Jana Foundation Jericho Leiserach Trust Kirby Family Foundation Lindmor Foundation Fund Lone Pine Foundation Near & Far Aid Association, Inc. New Profit NewAlliance Foundation Newman’s Own Foundation Northeast Utilities Foundation, Inc. People’s United Community Foundation Robertson Foundation Robin Hood Foundation Shippy Foundation Silverleaf Foundation The Achelis Foundation The Andrew and Barbara Bangser Charitable Foundation The Annie E. Casey Foundation The Bank of America Foundation The Charter Oak Challenge Foundation The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation The Leo and Libby Nevas Family Foundation The Louis Calder Foundation The Moody’s Foundation The Ohnell Family Foundation, Inc. The Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation The Pitney Bowes Foundation, Inc. The Schwedel Foundation The Seedlings Foundation The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation The William H. Pitt Foundation Tiger Foundation Tortora-Sillcox Family Foundation Woodward Fund

We are recognizing gifts of $100 or greater received between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010.


it is intolerable that in America today a bouncing bingo ball should determine a kid’s educational future, especially when there are plenty of schools that work and even more that are getting better.
Thomas frieDmaN The New York Times

BoARdS of dIRecToRS
Achievement First Network Support Board
William R. Berkley CHAir W.R. Berkley
Corporation, Chairman and CEO

Achievement First Bridgeport Academy
Andrew Boas CHAir Carl Marks Management
Co., LP, General Partner

Achievement First East New York
Anthony Davis CHAir Anchorage Capital Group,
LLC, President

Amistad Academy
Alexander Troy CHAir Troy Capital, LLC, CEO Michael Van Leesten ViCe CHAir Hopkins
School, Director – Breakthrough New Haven and Math Teacher

Jonathan Atkeson TreASurer Fortress
Investment Group, Managing Director

Steve Anbinder TreASurer First Marblehead,
Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors

Max Perez SeCreTArY City of Bridgeport,
Senior Economic Development Associate

Diahann Billings-Burford City of New York,
Chief Service Officer

Jane Levin SeCreTArY Yale University, Director
of Undergraduate Studies of Directed Studies

Andrew Boas Carl Marks Management Co., LP,
General Partner

Ed Raice TreASurer Raice & Ramaekers LLC,

J. Colin Gibson Citi Global Wealth Management,

Michael D. Griffin TreASurer Warmaug
Associates, CEO

Doug Borchard New Profit, Inc., Managing
Partner and Chief Operating Officer

Shelly Kassen Town of Westport, Selectman Richard Ferguson Newcity Foundation Richard Kalt CRN International, Inc., Vice

Aaron Koffman The Hudson Companies, Senior
Project Manager

Anne Tyler Calabresi Community Activist Katrin Czinger Philanthropist Mayor John Destefano Jr. Board of Education

Barry Fingerhut Fingerhut Management Corp.,

Sara Keenan Achievement First, Vice President,
Leadership Development

Carlton L. Highsmith Specialized Packaging
Group, CEO (retired)

Max Medina Zeldes, Needle & Cooper, P.C.,

Marsha Lawson Parent Representative Melaine Mullan Turnaround for Children, Inc., VP
of Field Operations

Lorraine Gibbons Parent Representative Kurtis Ingdorf Teacher Representative Judge Clarance Jones Board Emeritus Dorsey Kendrick Gateway Community College,

James Peyser NewSchools Venture Fund, Partner Stefan Pryor City of Newark, Deputy Mayor,
Commerce & Economic Development

Wiley Mullins Uncle Wiley’s Specialty Foods, Inc.,

Emily Saunders Teacher Representative

Cathy Mitchell Toren The Roosevelt Institute,
Vice President, Director of External Affairs and Development

Jon D. Sackler Bouncer Foundation, President Jennifer Smith Turner Girl Scouts of Connecticut,

Achievement First Bushwick
Deborah Shanley CHAir Brooklyn College,
School of Education, Dean

Andrew Lachman Connecticut Center for School
Change, Executive Director

Matt Tartaglia Deloitte Services LP, Director

Achievement First Apollo
Wanda Felton CHAir Private Equity Consulting,

Paul McCraven New Alliance Bank, Senior Vice

Jalak Jobanputra SeCreTArY New York City
Investment Fund, Senior Vice President

Achievement First Endeavor
Claire Robinson CHAir Moody’s Corporation,
Senior Managing Director


Beverly Orthwein Community Activist Ray Smith Board Emeritus Caroline Williams Event Coordinator

Denise Gordon ViCe CHAir Deloitte & Touche
LLP, US Director of Human Resources

Emerson Moore TreASurer TMP Worldwide,
General Counsel

Frances Messano SeCreTArY Monitor Group,

Hasoni Pratts TreASurer Empire State
Development Corp., Director of External Relations

Iris Chen I Have a Dream Foundation, CEO/

Sarah Curtis Bey TreASurer Estee Lauder,
Director Global Makeup Marketing

Elm City College Preparatory
Richard Ferguson CHAir Newcity Foundation Melinda Hamilton ViCe CHAir Trilogy
Enterprises, Retired

Mashea Ashton Newark Charter School Fund,
Chief Executive Officer

Harris Ferrell Achievement First, Chief Information

Khephra Burns Author and Playwright Justin Cohen Eton Park Capital Management,
Investment Analyst

Jonathan Beane Time Warner, Executive Director,
Diversity and Multicultural Initiatives

Malda Hibri Highbridge Capital Management,
LLC, Senior Vice President

Lystra M. Richardson SeCreTArY Southern
Connecticut State University, Professor – Department of Educational Leadership

Matt Klein Blue Ridge Foundation, Executive

Shannon Kete Project Lead the Way, Chief
Operating Officer

Chris Growney Clearwater Analytics, Co-Founder
and Vice President of Business Development

Patricia Pacelli New York City Lesley Esters Redwine Achievement First, Vice
President of External Relations – NY

Judith M. Rodriguez NYC Comptroller’s Office,
Community Associate

Elana Karopkin Achievement First, Regional

William F. Heins TreASurer Private Investor Harold Brooks Parent Representative Joyce Critelli Community Activist Carolyn Greenspan Blue State Coffee, CFO Allen Hadelman Hadley, Inc., President Marnie Halsey Education Reform Advocate Hadley Kornacki Teacher Representative M. Ann Levett Board of Education Representative Sharon Oster Yale School of Management, Dean Patricia Pierce Yale University, Major Gifts Senior
Associate Director

Shaka Rasheed Citadel Asset Management,

Achievement First Brownsville
Kelly Wachowicz CHAir Real Estate Investment
Group, Alliance Bernstein, COO

Achievement First Crown Heights
Hon. L. Priscilla Hall CHAir Supreme Court of
the State of New York Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, Justice

Director (chair through 1/2010)

May Taliaferrow-Mosleh Parent Representative

Lee Gelernt SeCreTArY ACLU Immigrants’
Rights Project, Deputy Director

Achievement First Hartford Academy
Steve Harris CHAir Community Leader Marshall Ruben ViCe CHAir Ruben, Johnson
& Morgan, P.C., President

Holly Washington SeCreTArY JP Morgan,
Vice President

Chrystal Stokes Williams TreASurer
American Express Company, Director

Gabriel Schwartz TreASurer Davidson
Kempner Capital Management, LLC, Managing Director

Elgina Brooks Parent Representative Vanessa Jackson Achievement First, Director,
College Readiness

Colleen Palmer SeCreTArY Monroe Public
Schools, Superintendent

Laura Saverin Community Activist Rolan Young Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C.,
Senior Partner

Vivian Lau Serengeti Asset Management, Partner Ethel Phillips Parent Representative Christopher Sommers Greenlight Capital, Analyst Dacia Toll Achievement First, Co-CEO and

John Motley TreASurer MotleyBeup, Owner Dominic Basile Teacher Representative Tom Cody Robinson & Cole, Partner Denise Gallucci CREC, General Director of
Magnet Schools

Max Polaner Achievement First, Chief Financial

Amy Arthur Samuels JP Morgan, Vice President

Elizabeth Ward New York City

Ja Hannah Parent Representative Alexis Highsmith Greater Hartford Legal Aid, Inc.,

Jean LaVecchia Northeast Utilities System, Vice
President – Human Resources and Ethics

We are including individuals who served on our boards between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010.

CT Office 403 James Street New Haven, CT 06513 NY Office 510 Waverly Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11238

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