CityBridge Foundation: Tools to 100 Schools

Tools to 100 Schools is a roadmap to much faster student proficiency growth in Washington, D.C.’s public schools. Tools inventories successful school models already operating in D.C. and around the nation and asks a framing question: How many replications of successful schools—or school turnarounds led by proven operators or with nonprofit partners—would D.C. need every year to reach almost all of our underserved students within a decade? To answer that question, the CityBridge Foundation built a simple mathematical model—the basis of Tools.

The answer from the model? We need at least 100 new or transformed schools—a mix of replications and intensive turnarounds—to reach most of our students within 10 years. This goal yields an average pace of ten schools (new or transformed) each year, a fivefold increase from the current rate at which transformational schools have been added to our local inventory.

The model also assumes that D.C. continues to benefit from significant systems reform implemented across the last several years: Universal early childhood education, a groundbreaking teachers’ contract, and the adoption of rigorous Common Core standards will continue to provide a background rate of proficiency growth. These systems reforms will make us better, across time. But speed matters. Only an intentional strategy like Tools will quickly produce a portfolio of transformational schools that can meet the needs of all students.

About the CityBridge Foundation

The CityBridge Foundation is guided by an unshakable belief in the equal worth of every person: Regardless of station, regardless of calling, every individual has equal value and deserves access to abundant opportunity. This belief translates into service to the children of Washington, D.C., where the majority of schoolchildren face some disadvantage or adversity. CityBridge believes schools are the best and most promising settings to address these inequities. Schools, when designed to be transformational, are engines of social mobility. They can be places where human potential is nurtured to full expression, where poverty and disadvantage are purposefully addressed. Together with many partners, CityBridge’s work is to advance this vision: Transformational education for every child in the nation’s capital.