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Schools We Follow

In 1994, Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin started the first Kipp Academies in Houston and New York; and they have since expanded into a nationwide network of 125 schools serving 41,000 students. More than 87% of Kipp students are from low-income families, and 95 percent are African American or Latino. Nationally, more than 90 percent of KIPP middle school students have graduated from high school, and more than 80 percent of KIPP alumni have gone on to college.

In 1999, Dacia Toll and Doug McCurry set out on a mission to prove that urban students can achieve at the same high levels as their suburban peers.  They opened the first Amistad Academy, a nationally acclaimed public charter school in New Haven, CT, where students achieved at such extraordinarily high levels that the founders were asked to use their knowledge and best practices to have a greater impact.  This led to the founding of Achievement First, which now operates a network of 22 schools serving 7,000 students; including a partnership with New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein to bring the highly successful Amistad model into Brooklyn, NY.

In 2004, the legendary African American leader Geoffrey Canada opened the Promise Academy, a K-12th grade school in Harlem, NY where students spend ten or more hours a day and are immersed in a culture of achievement and intellectual growth.  His sister project, the Harlem Children’s Zone, provides children with in-school and after-school supplemental programs designed to help them stay on track through college and on into the job market.  Together these two organizations now serve over 10,000 children in New York City’s toughest neighborhoods.   

In 2007, superstar schoolteacher Ron Clark founded the highly inspirational Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, which combines state-of-the-art facilities, innovative instruction, and creative, dynamic teachers to offer a world-class education to not only inner-city kids, but also to visiting teachers from around the world.