We fund programs in superior public, private, parochial and alternative schools, as well as those that prepare students for success as they transition from one school or academic level to another. We do not endorse any particular educational model but rather support a variety of organizations that insist on student achievement using tools such as extended time schooling and enrichment activities specifically connected to curriculum.

When assessing academic programs other than schools, we look for curricula correlated to the NYC/NYS academic standards that extend in-school learning, activities that make meaningful connections between the regular school day and the “real world,” and those that achieve outcomes that compare favorably to average NYC/NYS results. When a program is housed in a school, we also consider its relationship with the host institution.

In deciding whether to fund a program or school, we give substantial weight to those that critically assess their own performance using objective criteria. We are particularly interested in programs that plan to demonstrate concrete behavioral outcomes such as:

  • Improved grades
  • Significant measured gains in grade-level literacy and avoidance of “summer slip”
  • Improved SAT or other standardized test scores
  • High school graduation
  • Admission to college
  • Graduation from college

Those applying for funding should offer evidence that the particular educational interventions they propose employ, or at least do not conflict with, recognized best practices and research-based interventions shown to be effective. The foundation funds programs that address the opportunity gap through rigorous academic preparation, college admissions guidance, “summer melt” prevention, and ongoing support to manifest not only a degree but post-graduate success. When assessing college access and success programs, we look for programs that use a comprehensive approach and strive to incorporate the following attributes and precise metrics for evaluating the effectiveness of both program design and results of particular youth interventions.

College Access & Completion: Program Attribute Guidelines

1. Target high-potential students who are committed to academic and emotional perseverance and goal-setting;

2. Provide supplemental academic support (may include curriculum-aligned tutoring and/or SAT preparation);

3. If offering college guidance or mentoring:

a. Advisors/mentors should be professionally trained by a recognized training entity;

b. The college “under matching” issue and understanding of debt-load upon graduation should be intentionally addressed;

4. Track college matriculation, persistence and graduation (as defined in metrics below).

College Access & Completion: Metrics and Calculations to Include

Metric Equation
1. On-Time Enrollment in College # students in program who enrolled in college within 6 months of graduating from high school

Total number of students who graduated from high school
2. College Persistence # students who enrolled on-time in college AND are enrolled in a 3rd semester

Total number of students who enrolled on-time in college
3. College Completion # students in program who complete college in 150% of intended completion time

Total number of students who enrolled on-time in college

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