Mission & History

The mission of the Newark Charter School Fund (NCSF) is to support the quality, growth, and sustainability of the charter sector in order to provide all of Newark’s students with access to great schools in collaboration with district efforts to improve the quality of Newark public education.

Mission

The mission of the Newark Charter School Fund (NCSF) is to support the quality, growth, and sustainability of the charter sector in order to provide all of Newark’s students with access to great schools in collaboration with district efforts to improve the quality of Newark public education.

History

Founded in 2008, NCSF was created to address the serious demand for high-quality school options in Newark. Given the achievement crisis in Newark and the public charter sector’s relatively small market share in 2008, NCSF’s Phase I goals were to facilitate growth and improve the quality of the Newark charter school sector. During its first four years, NCSF worked to accomplish these goals with financial support from national foundations and additional co-investments from four local foundations. [1]

Among numerous accomplishments of NCSF to date, the most notable are the expansion of quality public charter school options for Newark students and NCSF’s efforts to ensure that charters are serving all students as a part of the Newark Charter School Compact:

  • Significant Impact on School Quality:  NCSF has driven significant growth and increases in achievement outcomes for Newark’s public charter sector—even in the city’s lowest-performing “turnaround” schools. After four years, 88% of charter students attend high-quality schools where over 50% of students are proficient in ELA and Math.
  • Upholding the Highest Standards of Equity and Accountability:  Over the course of Phase I, NCSF also pushed to hold public charter schools to high standards in terms of serving all students and being transparent with respect to data and results.  NCSF led the development of the Newark Charter School Compact, now signed by 17 of Newark’s 20 charter schools as well as several foundations and key stakeholders. The Newark Charter School Compact affirmed a commitment to transparency, accountability, equity and elevating the public discourse on quality education. More specifically, the charters committed to redoubling their efforts to serve all students, including students with special education needs, English Language Learners and the most at-risk students. Moving forward, NSCF will not support charters that don’t uphold the spirit and commitments embedded in the Compact.

[1] NCSF Phase I funders were The Gates Foundation, The Doris and Donald Fisher Fund, The Robertson Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation. The local funders who co-invested in NCSF’s work were The GEM Foundation, The MCJ Amelior Foundation, The Prudential Foundation and The Victoria Foundation. 

Overview of Newark Charter School Fund

By the Numbers

20

Newark charter schools, 44 campuses

📑17

of 20 charters have signed the Newark Charter School Compact

🏆#2

Newark charter sector ranking out of 41 cities in math and reading impact

🚀86%

of Newark charter students enrolled in a school beating the odds in math; 76% in reading

82%

of Newark charter students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch

42%

of Newark Enrolls applications for the 2015-2016 school year listed a charter school as their first choice

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