Schools That Can encourages the dissemination of best practices across its local networks, coupled with support in implementing new practices, in order to help good schools become great. As a result of our peer-to-peer support and collaboration, our schools have adopted internal data management systems, family engagement strategies, and even full curricula.

This year, Saint Mark the Evangelist School, a new Partner school in Harlem, New York, has worked closely with one of our charter schools in Brooklyn to revise its approach to teaching and monitoring writing at the middle grades. This First Person narrative, penned by Saint Mark’s principal Antwan Allen and published by Chalkbeat NY, shares the story of one particular cross-sector collaboration that is showing promise in terms of impacting student achievement.

“Schools That Can gave us access to talented educators in our city who offered us the chance to observe the way they approach a wide range of challenges. I was particularly concerned about finding ways to improve my students’ writing. It was clear from our middle school students’ performance on last year’s New York State exam—the first aligned to the Common Core—that we needed to find a way to help them build stronger, evidenced-based responses to writing prompts.” – Antwan Allen, Chalkbeat New York