LOS ANGELES, May 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The Alliance for College-Ready
Public Schools announced today it has received $10 million in grants, led
by The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, to help open 13 new charter schools
in the Los Angeles Unified School District. These funds will further
advance the success and sustainability of the growing charter school
movement in Los Angeles, home to the most charter schools and the most
students attending charter schools in the country.
"We have long believed that high-quality public charter school models
are successful at improving student achievement," said Eli Broad, founder
of The Broad Foundation. "With soaring dropout rates and a failure to
provide students with the skills they need to succeed in college, in work
and in life, our country's education system is not working. However, the
models of success -- and certainly the brightest hope for students in Los
Angeles -- are high-performing charter school organizations like the
Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools."
The Alliance currently operates seven public charter schools in the Los
Angeles Unified School District, serving 1,800 students. In September 2007,
three new Alliance schools will open, bringing the total schools in
operation to ten. All Alliance charter schools outperformed their
neighboring LAUSD schools on the 2006 Academic Performance Index (API).
All Alliance students are enrolled in rigorous college-preparatory
coursework and provided with an extensive support structure to ensure their
success in smaller classrooms and a longer school year. Alliance students
receive individual tutoring and attend after-school and Saturday classes to
meet college-readiness goals. It is expected that 90 percent of Alliance
students continuously enrolled from grades 9-12 will pass the California
High School Exit Exam and meet University of California and California
State University A through G college-preparatory course requirements, and
that 90 percent of Alliance graduates will attend two or four-year
The Broad Foundation's grant of $6.5 million will support the opening
of nine new high schools and four new middle schools in the next four
years, with the capacity to serve 8,000 students. The $3.5 million raised
from Alliance Board members will also be used to support school expansion.
Alliance schools will be located in the neediest communities in Los Angeles
where public schools are overcrowded and underperforming.
"Public charter schools in California are demonstrating innovative
practices that are making a measurable difference," said State
Superintendent Jack O'Connell, who attended the announcement on the campus
of Gertz-Ressler High School, the first Alliance school, which opened in
2004. Gertz-Ressler High School earned an API score last year of 766,
achieving the third-highest growth rate among LAUSD high schools and
ranking it among the top 10 high schools in the district. "These are the
kind of impressive academic results that can -- and must -- be replicated,"
Though Alliance schools are outperforming neighboring schools, the
students reflect the communities they serve, with up to 98 percent of
students eligible for free and reduced meals, 100 percent minorities (80
percent Latino, 20 percent African-American), 25 percent English learners
and 5 percent of the students in special education programs.
"As the former California Secretary of Education, I can say without a
doubt that today marks a turning point for education in this state," said
Alliance Board Chairman Richard Riordan. "When business and philanthropy
step forward to focus their resources, it is a testament to a simple fact:
charters work. We must always remember that charter schools are public
schools, but they put children first."
In the past six years, The Broad Foundation has invested more than $56
million to support the growth of charter schools in a small number of
cities including Los Angeles, New York City, Oakland and Philadelphia. Last
November, The Broad Foundation announced a $10.5 million grant to Green Dot
Public Schools to open 21 new small high schools in Los Angeles over the
next four years. The Alliance grant brings The Broad Foundation's support
of charter schools in Los Angeles to $36 million.
About The Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools
The mission of the Alliance, a nonprofit charter management
organization, is to create a network of small, innovative schools that
establish the foundation for college success in students who live in high
poverty communities in the Los Angeles area. The vision is to open a
minimum of 20 new public charter schools over the next five years. The
Alliance, led by CEO Judy Burton, also announced that it will be moving its
headquarters to the Frank E. Baxter Education Complex that also houses two
of its schools effective June 1, 2007, thus closing the gap between the
administration of charter schools and the schools themselves. For more
information, visit www.laalliance.org.
About The Broad Foundation
The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation is a national venture philanthropy
established by businessman and philanthropist Eli Broad to advance
entrepreneurship for the public good in education, scientific and medical
research, and the arts. Broad, who founded two Fortune 500 companies,
SunAmerica Inc. and KB Home, created The Broad Foundation to dramatically
improve K-12 urban public education through better governance, management,
labor relations and competition. The Broad Foundation's Internet address is
SOURCE Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools; The Eli Broad Foundation