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D es ig n i n g O u r F utu r e
When we wrote to you last year, Achievement First was still reeling from the wake-up call we received when New York State significantly increased the standards for what was considered “proficient” on state tests—a bold move focused on more rigorous college preparation and global competitiveness. This change in standards resulted in significant declines in student performance scores across the state and at Achievement First. Fortunately, the Achievement First team responded to these higher standards not with excuses or frustration, but with a call to action. One year later, the 2011 results show what hard, focused teamwork can achieve. Our New York students increased their scores by an average of 12 percentage points in English Language Arts and 13 percentage points in math, while statewide performance stayed essentially flat. In math, our students achieved true, gap-closing performance, surpassing state averages by nearly 20 points and local district averages by 40 points. At two of the four middle schools, our eighth-grade students exceeded the performance of students in Rye, NY, one of the wealthiest and top-performing districts in the state. The results landed these two Achievement First schools in the top five percent of all New York City public schools as measured by the NYC Department of Education Progress Reports. In Connecticut, the most exciting results came from our New Haven high school, where 10th-grade writing scores made AF Amistad High the second-highest-performing district out of 169 districts in the state. Many college experts have identified writing as the biggest academic stumbling block for most college students—the gateway subject where there is the biggest gap between traditional high school preparation and the rigors of what colleges demand. Our high school team gathered writing samples from colleges and some of the leading private high schools in the country and developed a detailed rubric that defines what excellence looks like. To be sure, there is more work to be done. Reading performance in our schools still fails to meet the gap-closing standards of the highest-performing suburban districts. Science and AP performance at Achievement First are on the rise, yet they still fall short of the competitive levels our students need to achieve. We are also pursuing a host of “accelerate” initiatives to address pressing needs at our schools as well as growing external interest in learning from some of the effective practices at Achievement First. These accelerate projects are described later in this report. As we end another year with national unemployment hovering around nine percent, we are reminded that nothing will do more to ensure our long-term, collective prosperity than creating outstanding public schools for all students. In fact, the average national unemployment rate masks a stark disparity: the unemployment rate for high school dropouts is 13.8 percent while it is only 4.4 percent for those with a college degree. We know you share our belief that a great education can level the playing field, break the cycle of poverty and help the next generation create a bright future for all of us. Thank you for your continued support, partnership and impatience.
Dacia M. Toll Co-CEO
Doug McCurry Co-CEO
William R. Berkley Board Chair
Despite the noble promise of equal educational opportunity, the United States has largely failed to provide the vast majority of low-income children with access to the high-quality education they need and deserve. The difference in academic performance between poor and affluent students, known as the achievement gap, has serious implications for the future life opportunities of individual children and for our society at large.
With only one in 1o lowincome 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, highperforming 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.
Our first priority is to provide a truly outstanding, gapclosing education for the thousands of students we have the honor and responsibility of working with directly—the kind and caliber of education that will help these students and our urban communities break the cycle of poverty. Beyond this direct impact, Achievement First’s theory of change is that by creating the equivalent of a highperforming urban public school “district,” we prove that the achievement gap can be closed at scale in a way that inspires and informs broader district-wide reform efforts. Our current strategic plan calls for us to expand from 20 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: excellence, scale and sustainability.
12,000 11,000 10,000 9,000 8,000 7,000 6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000
Excellence: Ensure that all Achievement First schools provide the truly outstanding, gap-eliminating public education that our students need and deserve. Scale: Increase the number of students we help climb the mountain to college and prove success is possible at “district” scale. Sustainability: Build systems that support growth and excellence and ensure the work is sustainable— financially, humanly and institutionally—over the long term; specifically, provide an outstanding education at a per-student cost equal to or less than that of our host public school districts.
ACHIEVEMENT FIRST GROWTH PROJECTION
theory of change
EL EM EN TA RY SC H O O L RESUL T S
80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 New York State Local Districts 17, 19, 32 Achievement First
7o 62 45
• Achievement First schools achieved impressive gains in 2011, while state averages stayed relatively flat. We achieved an average 12 percentage point increase on state tests in English Language Arts and a 13 percentage point increase in math. In comparison, the state and local community school districts saw increases of only one and two percentage points (respectively) in math and English Language Arts combined. • When compared to their peers in traditional public schools in our same communities, Achievement First students posted strong results. Across the Achievement First network, 82 percent of students scored at proficiency in math, compared to 45 percent in local districts. In English Language Arts, 49 percent of our students met the proficiency standard, compared to 36 percent of host district peers. • Math continues to be an especially strong area for Achievement First. Across grades three to eight, our students outperformed the state by an average of 19 percentage points. On the eighth-grade math test, our students at both Achievement First Bushwick Middle and Achievement First Endeavor Middle outperformed their peers in Rye, NY, one of the wealthiest and highest-performing school districts in the state. • On the New York State Regents Exam, Achievement First high school students outperformed the host district in all six subject areas and the state in five of the six (based on a comparison of Achievement First’s 2011 scores to state and district 2010 scores, the only ones available to date). In addition, we saw 100 percent of our high school students achieve proficiency in English Language Arts and 93 percent achieve college-level readiness, defined as students who can enter competitive colleges without taking remedial courses.
2011 New York State Test
Percent of 4th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency in Math and English Language Arts
M ID DL E SC H OOL RESUL T S
80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 New York State Local Districts 13/16, 17, 32 Achievement First
65 53 33
2011 New York State Test
Percent of 8th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency in Math and English Language Arts
H IG H SC H O O L RESU L TS
80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 New York State Local Districts 13/16, 17 Achievement First Brooklyn High
88 75 6o
2011 New York Regents Exam
Percent of 9th and 10th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency (65%) in Multiple Subjects* Note: State and district values are from 2009-10 since 2010-11 values are not yet publicly available.*9th grade: Geometry, Integrated Algebra, Living Environment. 10th grade: Comprehensive English, Geometry, Global History, Integrated Algebra, Physical Setting/ Chemistry, Living Environment.
• In 2010-11, Achievement First Bushwick and Achievement First Endeavor each earned charter renewals from the New York State Board of Regents with permission to expand to serve elementary school (AF Endeavor) and high school (AF Bushwick). Achievement First now operates 11 schools under six charters in New York City, with the seventh charter — Achievement First Aspire—also approved and slated to open in August 2013. • In August 2011, Achievement First opened its newest elementary school—Achievement First Endeavor Elementary—with 180 kindergarten and first-grade students from the Bedford Stuyvesant, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill areas of Brooklyn. Achievement First now serves 3,400 New York students as the second-largest charter management organization in New York City. • Our Achievement First Brooklyn schools received 5,457 applications for 720 open seats for the 2011-12 school year, resulting in more than 7.5 applicants for every open seat. • Hundreds of Achievement First parents joined education reformers from across the city at community meetings, facilities hearings and town hall forums to advocate for high-quality public schools in some of New York’s most underserved neighborhoods. • Achievement First’s schools and the Network Support team participated in a network-wide campaign to support Haitian relief efforts. The AF Haiti campaign, started in 2010, resumed this year to benefit the 300 students at Platon Primary School in Côte-de-Fer by providing school supplies, teacher salary support and a daily lunch program.
bushwick EAST NEW YORK bro wnsville
CRO WN HEIGHTS
ACHIEVEMENT FIRST APOLLO ELEMENTARY
Achievement First congratulates all of its eligible charters that earned top grades on the New York City 2011 Progress Reports. Only the top 25 percent • AF Bushwick earned “full credit” for of New York City schools received As. exceptional gains with English Language Learner students in both English and math, which is defined as scoring in the AF Endeavor top 20 percent of New York City schools.
• AF Endeavor and AF Bushwick ranked in the 96th and 95th percentiles, respectively, for all New York City schools.
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 ELEMENTARY ACHIEVEMENT FIRST ENDEAVOR MIDDLE
AF Crown Heights AF East New York AF Brownsville
• AF Endeavor earned “full credit” for exceptional gains with students in special education programs, which is defined as scoring in the top 20 percent of New York City schools.
• Achievement First students are achieving outstanding results in early elementary math. In kindergarten through second grade, our students performed on average at the 92nd percentile on the nationally normed Terra Nova assessment. This means that our students, on average, performed higher than 92 percent of students nationwide on this assessment. Our students achieved similarly strong results in early elementary reading. At all four Connecticut elementary schools, more than 90 percent of students in kindergarten through second grade achieved at or above proficiency on the nationally normed Fountas & Pinnell reading assessment. • Our middle school students continue to show strong, steady growth on their path from fourth grade (before Achievement First) to eighth grade. At Amistad Academy, Elm City College Prep and Achievement First Bridgeport Academy, the percentage of students at or above goal on the Connecticut Mastery Test, averaged across all subjects, more than doubled from fourth grade in 2007 to eighth grade in 2011. For example, at Amistad Academy, only 34 percent of incoming fourth graders (before Achievement First) scored at or above goal on the Connecticut Mastery Test. As eighth graders at Amistad Academy, 80 percent of these students scored at or above goal—a 46-point leap. • The percentage of Achievement First 10th graders at or above goal on the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) rose by seven points from 2010 to 2011. It is at the high school level that we see the most dramatic gap between Achievement First and the host district, with 56 percent of our 10th graders achieving at goal versus only 22 percent of their New Haven peers. Our 10th-grade writing scores were ranked second in the state behind only Simsbury, with 100 percent of our students achieving proficiency and 88 percent achieving at goal. • Achievement First continues to outperform its Connecticut host districts and perform on par with state averages. However, as we increasingly focus on higher benchmarks like the state’s non-poor averages, the reality is clear that we have more work ahead of us to truly close the achievement gap. All of our Connecticut schools are doubling down on reading instruction and more intentionally adding robust math interventions and shared planning. They also have strong and stable leadership teams, and our Connecticut principals—like their New York counterparts—are setting clear three-year goals with strong interim measures to monitor them and targeted strategies to achieve them.
Ac h i eve m e nt F i r st Am i stad H i g h Ac h i eve m e nt F i r st Br i dg e po rt Acad e my E l e m e ntary Ac h i eve m e nt F i r st Br i dg e po rt Acad e my M i dd l e Ac h i eve m e nt F i r st Hartfo r d Acad e my E l e m e ntary Ac h i eve m e nt F i r st Hartfo r d Acad e my M i dd l e Am i stad Acad e my E l e m e ntary Am i stad Acad e my M i dd l e E lm C ity Co l l eg e Pr e parato ry E l e m e ntary E lm C ity Co l l eg e Pr e parato ry M i dd l e
EL E M E N TAR Y S C H O O L R E S UL T S
80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10
Connecticut Bridgeport Hartford New Haven Achievement First
m i d d l e SC HO O L RESU L T S
80 70 80 70
h i g h SCH OOL R ESULTS
60 50 40
30 20 10
40 30 20 10
New Haven Achievement First
New Haven Achievement First
2011 Connecticut Mastery Test
Percent of 4th Grade Students At or Above Goal in Math, Reading and Writing
2011 Connecticut Mastery Test
Percent of 8th Grade Students At or Above Goal in Math, Reading and Writing
2011 Connecticut Academic Performance Test
Percent of 10th Grade Students At or Above Goal in Math, Reading and Writing
• One-hundred percent of Achievement First Amistad High School’s second senior class was accepted into four-year colleges and universities, following in the footsteps of the inaugural class of 2010, which also had a 100 percent acceptance rate. • Achievement First Amistad High School had 70 percent of its student body participate in summer programs that included college- and universitybased classes and career-oriented internships to enrich and prepare them for college. Pre-college programs allowed our students to take classes at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Yale University, University of Connecticut, University of New Haven, Smith College, Bryn Mawr College, Johns Hopkins University, Phillips Exeter Academy, Pennsylvania State University and University of Hartford. Other students participated in internship programs that gave them the chance to shadow doctors, lawyers, electrical engineers and Achievement First Network Support staff. • Achievement First schools in New Haven and Bridgeport partnered to form a cooperative agreement allowing ninth graders from Bridgeport to join their New Haven peers at Achievement First Amistad High School. • An average of 91 percent of parents at our Connecticut schools indicated on an anonymous mid-year survey that their child is attending a great school.
conncan top 1o rankings 2O11
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 African-American performance at the high school level.
African-American high school student performance (AF Amistad High)
Overall high school improvement (AF Amistad High)
African-American elementary school student performance (AF Hartford Academy)
Overall middle school performance gains (AF Hartford Academy)
African-American middle school student performance (AF Hartford Academy)
Low-income middle school student performance (Amistad Academy) Rankings are out of 571 elementary schools, 299 middle schools and 193 high schools in the state of Connecticut.
African-American middle school student performance (Amistad Academy)
African-American elementary school student performance (Elm City College Prep)
Achievement First firmly believes that the most important determinant of student achievement is the effectiveness of the teacher in the classroom. Likewise, the effectiveness 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 at least one year before launching a new school, and all new Achievement First teachers participate in at least 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 at least 1.5 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 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.
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 network, school, principal and teacher evaluations.
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. After each IA, teachers and principals spend a Data Day dedicated to reviewing the 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.
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.
• 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. • 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 cohort. • 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. In addition, all Achievement First students wear their school’s chosen uniform. • 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 2028”).
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:
• 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. • 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 school-wide celebrations. Students are frequently and systematically recognized for academic achievement and good behavior.
Faced with an increasing sense of urgency, Achievement First has recently launched six “accelerate” initiatives to address pressing needs at our schools as well as growing external interest in learning from some of Achievement First’s effective practices. While we remain committed to ever-improving, gap-closing results for our expanding network of public charter schools, Achievement First has always approached our mission with a research-anddevelopment mindset.
six leading-edge initiatives that target key areas of educational practice
teacher career pathway
AF Accelerate is a portfolio of innovative programs that target key areas of educational practice—teacher evaluation and recognition, digital learning, district collaboration, advocacy and expansion, college readiness and persistence, and data management. In each area, our goals are both to strengthen our internal capacity and to share this knowledge so that we may help improve educational opportunities for all children.
As we encounter unprecedented levels of attention, urgency and optimism around public education reform, Achievement First is working harder than ever to refine and enhance our approach.
District Partnership: Residency Program for School Leadership
STrATEGIC USE Of DATA
AF Through College
DIGITAL LEARN ING
Advocacy & Expansion
Research studies have overwhelmingly shown that teacher effectiveness is the single biggest driver of student achievement, and yet historically, in most traditional public schools, teacher evaluation and teacher salaries have been based on inputs that have no direct tie to teacher effectiveness and student performance. In response to both an internal and external need to focus more on developing and celebrating effective teachers, Achievement First created a Teacher Career Pathway that provides increased compensation and differentiated professional development based on a teacher’s proven effectiveness. Following two years of design and piloting, the Teacher Career Pathway is being implemented at all 20 Achievement First schools this year. Both The New Teacher Project and the Aspen Urban Superintendents Network have recognized Achievement First’s Teacher Career Pathway as one of the most promising designs in the country.
At an organization that has always upheld and supported teachers as the most powerful factor in the fight for educational justice, the Teacher Career Pathway represents an exciting, inspiring and logical next step in closing the achievement gap. It marks a critical moment at Achievement First and a significant shift in my work as a dean. Now, when I sit down with the teachers I coach, I can point to discrete elements on a clearly defined teaching
excellence rubric created by educators, for educators. This allows me to recognize and celebrate strengths—considering the ways in which these might be honed further or utilized across classrooms—and zero in on critical, actionable gaps that stand between teachers and achieving the kind of outstanding results to which they are committed. This process has already stepped up expectations for planning and self-reflection, demystifying along the way
what it means to be a great educator. Equipped with this tool, I feel more confident than ever that our teachers have the resources and support they need to hone their craft in pursuit of truly gap-closing results.
Ta y l o r R ifkin Academic Dean Achievement First Bushwick Middle School
Public charter schools and traditional public school districts have historically had an adversarial relationship, with little dialogue between the two groups about our shared work. However, we are seeing this dynamic change in a growing number of cities, and Achievement First is proud to pioneer this work with New Haven Public Schools (NHPS) and Hartford Public Schools (HPS). Based on a shared belief that the effectiveness of school principals is one of the top drivers of student achievement, we have entered into a strategic partnership with NHPS and HPS to collaborate on training highpotential candidates to serve as turnaround principals for their highest-need schools. The Residency Program for School Leadership is a one-year training program that leverages best practices from both the traditional and charter contexts to combine experiential residencies, seminar-style learning and intense, individualized coaching. The program officially launched in June 2011 with an inaugural cohort of five New Haven residents and three Hartford residents, and our partnership is already yielding key lessons about how charters and traditional districts can work together to translate and transfer best practices for the benefit of all students.
While the world has been transformed by technology in recent decades, schools have been well behind their students in maximizing the power of this technology in how they operate. In an effort to better leverage the power of technology, Achievement First hired a dedicated Director of Digital Learning who spent a year researching the most promising technology tools and innovative instructional models in the field. We have now launched digital learning pilots in three different Achievement First schools to explore how these tools may support “blended” models of instruction that combine technology and traditional instruction. For example, at Amistad Academy Middle, Academic Dean Roxanna Lopez uses an Internet-based, personalized digital library to offer her fifth-grade students the tools to practice reading and track their own growth while she intervenes with intensive support for smaller groups of emerging readers. We are excited about the potential of these tools to individualize instruction and develop more of a “best-fit” match between student, content and the type of instruction.
Achievement First has always been an organization deeply committed to using data to improve every aspect of our work. Due to the organic way we grew our network, we currently use multiple databases to capture and analyze instructional and operational data to improve our approach. Reporting and sharing data across these multiple information systems requires a manual, time-intensive process and makes our current data infrastructure neither sustainable nor scalable. In response, Achievement First has hired Hitachi Consulting to construct a consolidated data-management system that will coordinate information across our network. This will build Achievement First’s capacity to capture and disseminate best practices around instruction and student achievement both internally and externally. In fact, Achievement First has already completed an agreement with Wireless Generation to leverage our work around using interim assessment data to identify, diagnose and address student academic issues. Through this partnership, the AF Athena database and platform we developed will be available for use by other charter management organizations and traditional public school districts.
Despite growing local, state and national support for education reform, many people still do not fully understand the magnitude and impact of the achievement gap or the potential of high-performing charter schools to help individual students, entire schools and partner districts close that gap. In response, Achievement First has decided to become more engaged in increasing public awareness and advocating for public policies that would support education reform and, specifically, the expansion of high-quality school choices. For example, we are working to better inform the families of our 6,200 students to act as strong voices for their children through a partnership with Families For Excellent Schools, a non-profit organization that is committed to developing parents as advocates.
Our awareness-building efforts are focused in Connecticut, New York and now Rhode Island. Achievement First has recently made the exciting decision to expand into a third state, and we currently have an application pending before the Rhode Island Department of Education to open two elementary schools in Providence, RI starting in 2012 and 2013. Assuming the expansion moves forward, we are committed to ensuring that this growth happens in a way that enhances our overall goals of excellence, impact and sustainability.
Acceptance to a four-year college or university is an Achievement First high school graduation requirement to ensure that each of our graduates has been adequately prepared for college and has the powerful choice to attend. We understand that a handful of students may choose a different path, so we aim for a 95 percent college matriculation rate and a 75 percent college graduation rate over six years. However, with approximately 95 percent of our students positioned as the first in their families to go to college, Achievement First must fill a support need that is typically met by the parents of more affluent high school students. AF Through College represents a multi-faceted approach to facilitating college acceptance, matriculation and persistence by providing intensive support while our students are still in high school, followed by targeted support for alumni in college based on a tiered system of need. Given the planned growth of Achievement First’s high school programs in the next five years, we are investing in scaling AF Through College for sustainability and replication.
As a first-semester college freshman, I thought high school would be the furthest thing from my mind. Yet I’ve felt Achievement First with me since my first day at Providence College. I’ve had the reassurance of monthly check-ins from my alumni counselor and have relied on the campus resources she helped me find. Every time I get an email from the AF Through College team, I can’t help but sign off with a big “Thank You!” For me, knowing Achievement First is cheering me on makes all the difference.
I'm grateful to have had a high school experience that pushed me to test my limits and taught me to take ownership of my future
Looking around at classmates who often seem overwhelmed by the workload and the independence of college life, I’m grateful to have had a high school experience that pushed me to test my limits and taught me to take ownership of my future. I’m already looking forward to coming back for alumni day in the spring to talk to teachers and current students about what it’s like to be one step closer on my climb up the mountain to college graduation.
A l ic ia Ho p kins AF Amistad High School, Class of 2o11 Providence College, Class of 2o15
network support finances
(2010-11 Unaudited Financials) Revenues Management Fees Public Grants Philanthropy Other Total Revenues Expenses Personnel Expenses Non-personnel Expenses Total Expenses (before depreciation) Surplus/(Deficit) (before depreciation) Depreciation Expense Surplus/(Deficit) (after depreciation)
Network Support Expenses
IT & DATA SCHOOL Support & CUrriculum Development
6,610,482 252,167 3,628,715 92,191 10,583,555 7,666,927 2,767,316 10,434,243 149,312 212,866 (63,554)
operations and finance
1o% 11% 23%
leadership & Administration
Network Support refers only to the central office services that Achievement First provides to its schools. If all school revenues and expenses were added to these central office services, overall finances for the Achievement First network would amount to more than $88 million in 2010-11, with over 80 percent coming from public sources.
talent development & recruiting Development & community relations
Our School Finances
Achievement First operates college-preparatory public charter schools at an average per-student cost equal to or less than its host public school districts in New York and Connecticut.
NYC Per-Student $15,373*
New Haven Per-Student $14,131*
AF $13,879 AF $13,861
Revenue, Philanthropy Revenue, Federal Revenue, State and District Facility Expenses Non-personnel Expenses Personnel Expenses
*Host district per-student data is based on 2010-11 budgets. The amount was adjusted to control for expenses provided in-kind to Achievement First, such as facilities, food service and transportation.
Melissa Bailey—New Haven Independent.org
Elm City College Preparatory
Elm City College Prep Middle School purchased two properties adjacent to its existing building to construct an outdoor play area for its students. The parking lot was moved to the newly purchased property site so that the vacated space could be used for a new playfield suitable for a range of outdoor activities. The project cost, including acquisition of the properties, is approximately $1 million and will be finished by December 2011.
A beautiful new Amistad Academy building opened this year to house both the middle and elementary schools. The project provided for an extensive renovation to the former Dwight School in New Haven and a newly constructed two-story addition at the rear of the school, resulting in 91,000 square feet for student use. In addition to 41 classrooms, the building contains a library, a new gymnasium, two interior courtyards, offices and breakout rooms for small group and specialized instruction. The total project cost was $34.5 million, with more than $26 million in state funding through the first-ever school construction grant given to a charter school in the State of Connecticut on the same terms as a traditional public school. The project was also funded using New Market Tax Credits and private fundraising, with the largest gift coming from The Steven A. and Alexandra M. Cohen Foundation, Inc. Fusco Corporation led construction, which began in September 2009 and was completed in August 2011 when more than 750 inaugural students entered the building.
Achievement First Bridgeport Academy
Construction began this year to renovate the middle school and provide much-needed assembly and gym space. The project, scheduled for completion in the spring of 2012, also includes a new front entrance, an expanded cafeteria, two new classrooms, a newly landscaped parking lot, a new elevator, access for persons with disabilities and a new main office. Financing for the $4.2 million renovation is being provided in part by a $2.7 million loan from the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF).
Achievement First Hartford Academy
Achievement First renovated Fox Middle School to serve as the permanent home for AF Hartford Academy Elementary and Middle Schools, opening in time for the 2011-12 school year. The project created and renovated 21 classrooms and support spaces for the schools and cost approximately $1.5 million, with 50 percent funded by Hartford Public Schools and 50 percent supported by generous philanthropists.
I N D IVI D UALS
Nancy Ahern Isabel Alba Bruce Alexander Nitesh Ambastha Anonymous Elaine Appellof and Jerry Saunders David Arango Dr. Walter and Mrs. Diane Ariker Mary Arnstein Tejpreet Arora Jon Atkeson Martha Banks Brian Barkley Katherine Barth Morgan Barth Richard and Ilene Barth Dominic Basile Myrna Baskin Craig Bench Jim Bennett Dr. Eric and Mrs. Ethel Berger William R. Berkley Barry Berman Jon Bernstein Jeremy Beutler Jessica Bloom Andrew and Carol Boas Doug Borchard Mathew Borin Sarah Bouchat Chafia Boukhtouche Jonathan Brandt Roman Braslavsky Harold and Rachel Brooks Susan Brown Julie Burton and George G. Sharrad Peter Butler Guido and Anne Calabresi
Jafe Campbell Nicole Campbell Linc Caplan Lawrence Carson Lawrence Caruso Christopher Casey Brian Casey Edwin Casey Arturo Fernandez Catalina Maria Cerbone Jessica Cevetello William Chabla Becky Chacko Avik Chatterjee Iris Chen Thomas Chiappetta Kandarp Chokshi David Chorney Marc Chouchani Allen Church Henry Clark III Pernell Clarke Paula Cleary Justin Cohen William Cohen Theodore Coons Michael Covino James Cox-Chapman Michael and Joyce Critelli Richardo Cuenca James Cullen Ray Cunningham William Curran Diana Czel Ann Dahl Tony Davis and Suzy Franczak Milene Decagny Nancy DeLisi Henry Delouvrier Milton and Margaret DeVane Don Devendorf
Kenneth Dougherty Nicolas Douglas Frank Downey Jonathan Drake Susan and Thomas Dunn Elizabeth Egan Thomas Ehrhart Emily Eisenlohr Vladimir Elkin Gail Epstein Eric Epstein Jahaida Escotto George and Laura Estes John and Katharine Esty Susan Evans Abby Farber Wanda Felton Richard and Marissa Ferguson Sharon Ferraguto Vincent Ferraro Barry and Pamela Fingerhut Stephen Flaum Tom Foley and Leslie Fahrenkopf Christina Frey Linda Fritsche Matthew Gadsden Denise Gallucci William Garfinkel Gregory Garofolo Kenneth Gawrelski Robert Gawrelski Lee Gelernt Menekse Gencer Daniel Genshaft Donald Gerne Stephanie Gessow Chris and Toddie Getman Lorraine Gibbons Frank and Marjorie Gillis Lynn and Thomas Goldberg
Blanche and Steven Goldenberg Michael Goller Antone Granada Marc Granetz William and Jean Graustein Hazel Green Adam and Carolyn Greene Tim Greene David Greene Melinda and Charles Greenlee R. Nelson Griebel Michael D. Griffin and Molly Butler Hart Chris Growney Eric Guja L. Priscilla Hall Marnie Halsey Susan Hamel Jim and Melinda Hamilton Taylor and Amy Harmeling Steven Harris Sally Harris Steven and Marilyn Hart Darrell Harvey Jack Hasler Jonathan and Beth Hayes William and Judy Heins D. Kyle Herman Robert Hetu Malda Hibri Nanci Higginbotham Alexis N. Highsmith Richard and Angelica Hinchcliff Gurura Hindupur Jessica Holland Amadally Hosseinbukus Edward Houser Donna Howe Liming Hu
Nausheen Hussain Annemarie Ihnatolya Kurtis Indorf Michael Isikow Cara James Krasimir Jeliazkov George Jimenez Joe Jolson Katherine Joyce Samuel Kalt Harold Kamins Shelly and Michael Kassen Jean Kelley Lori Kelly Donald Kendall Dorsey Kendrick Shannon Kete Richard Kinderlerer Matt Klein Theodore and Maribel Knappen Aaron Koffman Herbert Kohler Jr. Harvey Koizim Jill Kolasinski Hadley Kornacki Carol Kranowitz Robert Kricheff Madhukar Kuntamukkala Andrew Lachman and Ruth Messinger Deborah Lai Susan Landauer George Landegger Vivian Lau Jean LaVecchia Peter Lavorini William and Kate Lee Alison Lemon Dave Levenson Richard and Jane Levin Yirong Li
Min Li Mrs. Ruth Littman Songyuan Liu Kevin and Erika Long Matthew Long Henry Lord Vincent Lorusso Richard and Katherine Loughlin Matthew Lucke Peter Lutz John Lykouretzos Janet Lyons Brian MacLean Brent Maddin Daniel Magida Stephen and Susan Mandel Marn Marin Justin Markle Leah Martin Bryan Matthews Steven Mattus Alexis Maule Alison McCormack Grant McCracken Paul and Cynthia McCraven Doug McCurry Thomas McEachin Kirk McKeown Maximino Medina Chetan Mehta Robert Meissner Frances Messano Jeffrey Micsky Tonya Mitchell Emerson Moore James Moore John Motley Melanie Mullan Peter Munsill Christina Musacchia Joseph Nathan
Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Netter David Newton Pierre Nicolas Harold and Sandra Noborikawa Peter Norley Katryn Norman Kenneth Oba Brian and Jill Olson Allison Orris Peter and Beverly Orthwein Sharon Oster and Raymond Fair Tricia Pacelli and Eric Wepsic Colleen Palmer Michael Park Harshin Patel Ankur Patel Kathleen Pedrolini Maria Pedulla Aron Pell Daniel Peraza Maximo Perez Yolanda Perez-Wilson Susan Persett Larry Peterson John Phillips Patricia Pierce and Marc Rubenstein John Poulson Maury Povich and Constance Chung Miguel Puertas Edward Raice Shahidah Rashid James Ratcliffe William Reese and Dorothy Hurt Patricia Rehfield Christopher Rezek Lystra and Renelle Richardson
Claire Robinson Gerald Rosenberg and Cheryl Wiesenfeld Marshall Ruben and Carolyn Greenspan Allen Ruiz Amy Arthur Samuels Michael and Virginia Sarezky Ken and Laura Saverin Lawrence and Gloria Schaffer Anne Schenck Melissa Scheve Jennifer Schiff Eric Schimmel Gabriel Schwartz Nathaniel Schwartz Andrew and Erica Schwedel Sandra Senich Parag Shah Deborah Shanley Maureen Shanley Aditya Sharma Brian Shenkin Andrew Shin W. Hampton Shiver Mark Shufro Constance Silver Bruce and Pamela Simonds Maneet Singh Benjamin Smeal Roger Smith Jabar Smith Christopher Sommers Jon Sonneborn Kathryn Spain Gregory Spano Sean Spicer Andrew Steck John and Susan Steuer Dana and Mary Streep Geoffrey Strong
Lawrence and Joyce Stupski Gary Sultan Kenneth Swan Patricia and Stedman Sweet Echo Szeto Hua Tang Matt Tartaglia Holland Taylor Iris Taylor David Tepperman Glennda Testone Deborah Toll Dacia Toll and Jeffrey Klaus Daniel Toll Cathy Mitchell Toren Kenneth and Kathleen Tropin Alexander and Dale Troy M.C. Troy Debra Turnbull-Phillip Jennifer Smith Turner Michael Van Leesten Shawn Vasdev Ananthasubramani Venkata Mikhail Vinnik Dushyant Vishnoi Florindo Volpacchio Kim Vu Kelly Wachowicz Giselle Wagner and Paul Myerson Andrew Waldon Lyn Walker Michelle Wang Ross Warner Joanne Weiss Mark Weissler and Nancy Voye Malcolm and Carolyn Wiener Chrystal Stokes Williams Tiger and Caroline Williams
Edward and Martha Winnick Richard Witmer Terrie and John Wood Ambrose Wooden Jr. Jayson Yost Christopher Young Sue Zaccagnino Nadine Zubenko Nancy and David Zwiener
Charles Hayden Foundation Charter Oak Challenge Foundation Charter School Growth Fund Cornelia Cogswell Rossi Foundation Credit Suisse Americas Foundation Ensworth Charitable Foundation Fairfield County Community Foundation The Annie E. Casey Foundation The Clark Foundation The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation The Fund for Greater Hartford The Grossman Family Foundation The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation The Moody’s Foundation The Ohnell Family Foundation, Inc. The Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation The Seedlings Foundation The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation The William H. Pitt Foundation Tiger Foundation Tortora-Sillcox Family Foundation United Illuminating Foundation United Way of Waterbury Vranos Family Foundation Woodward Fund We are recognizing gifts of $100 or greater received between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011.
CO R PO RATI O N S
Amity Services LLC Barclays Educational Gift Matching Program Boston Private Bank and Trust Company Carter, Morse & Mathias Investment Bankers Diane’s Books of Greenwich, Inc. Innovative Kids J. Seitz & Co. Merck Partnership for Giving Newman Architects The Wave, Inc. Yale New Haven Hospital Yale University Yannix Management LP
Frederick DeLuca Foundation George A. and Grace L. Long Foundation H. A. Vance Foundation Hyde and Watson Foundation Jewish Foundation for Greater New Haven John and Kelly Hartman Foundation Kirby Family Foundation Lindmor Foundation Fund Lone Pine Foundation Louis Calder Foundation Near & Far Aid New Profit, Inc. NewAlliance Foundation Newman’s Own Foundation Northeast Utilities Foundation, Inc. People’s United Community Foundation Robertson Foundation Robin Hood Foundation Shippy Foundation Shumway Capital Foundation Silverleaf Foundation Smith Richardson Foundation Stella and Charles Guttman Foundation, Inc. Steven A. and Alexandra M. Cohen Foundation, Inc. The Achelis Foundation
FO U N DATI O N S
Action for Healthy Kids Foundation Anonymous Audrey & Martin Gruss Foundation Bank of America Foundation Bartels Trust Carnegie Corporation Carson Family Charitable Trust Casey Family Services Cerimon Fund
Ac h ievem ent First Ne t work S uppo rt Boa rd
William R. Berkley CHAIR W.R. Berkley Corporation, Chairman and CEO Doug Borchard New Profit, Inc., Managing Partner and Chief Operating Officer Mike Critelli Dossia Service Corporation, President and CEO Barry Fingerhut Fingerhut Management Corporation, Director Carlton L. Highsmith Specialized Packing Group, CEO (retired) James Peyser New Schools Venture Fund, Partner Jon D. Sackler Bouncer Foundation, President Jennifer Smith Turner Girl Scouts of Connecticut, CEO Elisa Villanueva Beard Teach For America, Chief Operating Officer
Lesley Esters Redwine Achievement First, Vice President of External Relations NY (AF representative through 5/11) Matt Klein Blue Ridge Foundation, Executive Director Miriam Raccah Achievement First, Vice President of External Relations NY Mirian Rodriguez Parent Representative Natalia Chefer D.E. Shaw, Vice President Nathaniel Schwartz General Atlantic LLC, Associate Patricia Pacelli New York City Wanda Felton Credit Suisse, Managing Director (chair through 5/11)
Sexton, Attorney Wiley Mullins Uncle Wiley’s Specialty Foods, Inc., President
Iris Chen I Have A Dream Foundation, CEO/President Jalak Jobanputra New York City Investment Fund, Senior Vice President Judith Rodriguez NYC Comptroller’s Office, Community Associate Malda Hibri Highbridge Capital Management LLC, Senior Vice President Shannon Kete Project Lead The Way, Chief Operating Officer
Aaron Koffman The Hudson Companies, Senior Project Manager Cathy Mitchell Toren The Roosevelt Institute, Vice President, Director of External Affairs and Development Daree Lewis Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, Director of Alumni and Philanthropy/ Alternative Investments Programs Diahann Billings-Burford City of New York, Chief Service Officer Melanie Mullan Turnaround for Children Inc., Vice President for Field Operations Sara Keenan Achievement First, Vice President of Leadership Development (AF representative through 1/11) Sarah Coon Achievement First, Senior Director of Talent Development Tony Davis Anchorage Capital Group LLC, President (chair through 1/11) Tricia Matthews Parent Representative
Ac hi e v e me n t F i r s t Br o w n s v i l l e
Kelly Wachowicz CHAIR Alliance Bernstein Real Estate Investment Group, COO Chrystal Stokes Williams TREASURER American Express Company, Vice President of IP Strategy Amy Arthur Samuels JP Morgan, Vice President Charmaine Bobb Parent Representative Lee Gelernt ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, Deputy Director Max Polaner Achievement First, Chief Financial and Strategy Officer Nicole Campbell New York City Vanessa Jackson Achievement First, Director of College Readiness
Ac hi e v e me nt Fi rs t C r o w n He i gh ts
L. Priscilla Hall CHAIR Brooklyn Supreme Court, Justice Gabriel Schwartz TREASURER Davidson Kempner Capital Management LLC, Managing Director Christopher Sommers Greenlight Capital, Analyst Elana Karopkin Achievement First, Regional Superintendent (AF representative through 1/11) Ethel Phillips Parent Representative Judith Jenkins Epiq Systems Inc., Integreon Managed Solutions Inc., Contract Attorney Vivian Lau Serengeti Asset Management, Partner
A c h iev em en t F i r s t B rid g epo rt A c a dem y
Andy Boas CHAIR Carl Marks Management Co. LP, General Partner Max Perez SECRETARY City of Bridgeport, Senior Economic Development Associate Ed Raice TREASURER Raice and Ramaekers LLC, Principal Dick Kalt CRN International, Inc., Vice President Shelly Kassen Town of Westport, Selectman Max Medina Zeldes, Needle & Cooper, P.C., Partner Harold Kamins Community Activist Marlene Macauda Mellick &
AC H IEVEM ENT FIRST AP OL LO
Andy Hubbard CHAIR Credit Suisse, Managing Director Ambrose Wooden, Jr. TREASURER Goldman Sachs, Analyst Denise Gordon Deloitte & Touche LLP, U.S. Director of Human Resources Hasoni Pratts Empire State Development Corporation, Assistant Vice President Jonathan Beane Time Warner, Executive Director of Diversity and Multicultural Initiatives (treasurer through 3/11)
Ac hi e v e me n t F i r s t Bu s hw i c k
Deborah Shanley CHAIR Brooklyn College School of Education, Dean Emerson Moore TREASURER TMP Worldwide, General Counsel Adrienne Loiseau Parent Representative Christina Frey Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), Acting Executive Director of NY Metro Program Office Harris Ferrell Achievement First, Chief Information Officer
Ach i e ve m e n t Fi rs t E n de avo r
Claire Robinson CHAIR Moody’s Corporation, Senior Managing Director Chris Growney TREASURER Clearwater Analytics, Co-Founder and Vice President of Business Development Cleveland Oakes (parent representative through 11/10) Erica Williamson Achievement First, Director of Human Capital Frances Messano Monitor, Consultant Justin Cohen Eton Park Capital Management, Investment Analyst
Ac hi e v e me nt Fi rs t E as t N e w Y o rk
Jon Atkeson CHAIR Fortress Investment Group, Managing Director Matt Tartaglia TREASURER Deloitte Services LP, Director
Khephra Burns Self-Employed, Author and Playwright Prentiss Leary Parent Representative Sarah Curtis-Bey Estee Lauder, Marketing Manager
Lorraine Gibbons Cardinal Shehan Center, Director of Development Dorsey Kendrick Gateway Community College, President Andrew Lachman Connecticut Center for School Change, Executive Director Paul McCraven First Niagra Bank, Senior Vice President Caroline Williams Event Coordinator Beverly Orthwein Community Activist Kurtis Indorf AF Amistad High, Teacher
Achievem en t First Hartfor d A c a d em y
Steve Harris CHAIR Community Activist Marshall Ruben VICE CHAIR Ruben, Johnson & Morgan, P.C., President John Motley TREASURER MotleyBeup, Owner Colleen Palmer SECRETARY Weston Public Schools, Superintendent Denise Gallucci CREC, General Director of Magnet Schools Ja Hannah Vision Enterprises, Principal Jean LaVecchia Northeast Utilities System, Vice President of Human Resources and Ethics Dominic Basile AF Hartford Academy, Teacher Tom Cody Robinson & Cole, Partner Alexis Highsmith Greater Hartford Legal Aid, Attorney
E l m C i t y C o l l e ge P r e p ar at o r y
Dick Ferguson CHAIR New City Foundation Melinda Hamilton VICE CHAIR Education Activist Will Heins TREASURER Private Investor Lystra Richardson SECRETARY Southern Connecticut State University, Professor Harold Brooks City of New Haven, Senior Accountant Joyce Critelli Community Activist Carolyn Greenspan Blue State Coffee, COO Marnie Halsey Education Activist M. Ann Levett Yale School Development Program, Executive Director Sharon Oster Yale School of Management, Frederick D. Wolfe Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship, Professor of Economics and Director of the Program on Social Enterprise Patricia Pierce Community Activist Hadley Kornacki Elm City College Prep Elementary, Teacher Laura Saverin Community Activist Allen Hadelman Hadley, Inc. We are including individuals who served on our boards between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011.
Am istad A c a d em y
Alexander Troy CHAIR Troy Capital LLC, CEO Michael Van Leesten VICE CHAIR Hopkins School, Executive Director of Breakthrough New Haven Michael Griffin TREASURER Warmaug Associates, CEO Jane Levin SECRETARY Yale University, Senior Lecturer, Department of Humanities John DeStefano Jr. City of New Haven, Mayor Sherri Gellman SG Partner, Founder/CEO
CT OFFICE 403 James Street New Haven, CT 06513 NY OFFICE 510 Waverly Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11238 www.achievementfirst.org
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