What We Do
It is our intent to increase the number of high quality schools and expand our network of schools in low-income areas to reach a tipping point in each city where quality education for all students, regardless of income level, becomes the norm.
Today, 121 Member and Partner schools form local school networks in 15 cities across the country. STC schools are district, faith-based, independent and charter schools providing quality education to over 50,000 children. We believe that by identifying and recognizing these schools, we shift public attention to what’s working in our schools rather than what’s not. We believe that by validating excellent schools and highlighting, cultivating, and disseminating their most effective practices we create a powerful exchange of ideas that help sustain and improve the quality of each school. We believe that by gathering schools regularly to learn and share we will improve the quality of education in our city and nation for the kids who need it most.
Recruit, Engage, and Develop Quality Schools
Schools That Can recruits schools serving low-income students in a growing number of cities including Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, District of Columbia, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Newark, New York, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, San Francisco/Oakland, and St. Louis. Our network is comprised of schools where, at minimum, 60% of students qualify as low-income, 75% of students demonstrate proficient or advanced skills in mathematics and literacy, 80% of students graduate with the option to attend a 4-year college, 100% have effective leadership in place and have attendance rates at 90%. They are schools that want to accelerate student growth by reflecting on, measuring, and disseminating what they do best. They have the capacity and interest in peer-led professional development and mentorship.
Once a network of high performing schools is established in a city and has sufficient time to learn from each other, STC begins to engage other, less accomplished schools. Methods of teaching, learning, and management are shared through a series of collaborative workshops, mini-trainings, and problem-solving seminars. These schools, called partners, are set on a track to achieve full membership by collaborating with the network and adapting effective methods modeled by peer schools who have already achieved STC membership. STC partners with schools that aspire to climb the ladder towards becoming an STC school. STC and partner school leaders are committed to demonstrating improved outcomes each year and to accelerating growth over time.
The STC organizational structure provides national support for locally focused Regional Councils. These councils manage recruitment and application processes as well as organize a thoughtful professional development program for their school network. The council is comprised of member school leaders and led by Regional Co-Chairs, local leaders who guide all council efforts. Most importantly, they ensure schools join a collaborative learning environment where schools observe, examine, and implement proven strategies effectively. STC is committed to providing a schools-driven, peer-led and organic experience. This approach is designed to catalyze clear improvement and increased sustainability for schools. We work with leaders throughout the school – students, parents, teachers, administrators, and school partners – who have the capacity to identify what they do well and share it effectively in their community.
Track and Measure Results
We are committed to accurately document the growth and progress of our schools as they learn from each other and implement the effective practices of other network schools. Our newly formed Metrics Committee, with the help of a generous grant from Salesforce, is setting the foundation for building a detailed and comprehensive database that will concretely showcase the tremendous gains achieved by our network schools. This innovation will also allow for faster identification and dissemination of the most appropriate effective practices to overcome every school’s current challenges, no matter their governance style.