CEO

Citizen Schools Names Emily McCann New CEO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE BOSTON, Mass—February 4, 2016 – Citizen Schools’ National Board Chair, Lawrence H. Summers, announced today that the board has unanimously selected Emily Buxton McCann as the organization’s next Chief Executive Officer. McCann, who has served as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Office and President over her 13 year tenure at Citizen Schools, will assume her new role effective immediately. McCann succeeds Steven M. Rothstein, who, as CEO, led the organization through the leadership transition from Co-Founder Eric Schwarz. Rothstein will continue to serve as a senior advisor to Citizen Schools.

“I am deeply appreciative of Steven’s hard work, innovation and leadership,” Summers said. ”While at Citizen Schools, he played a critical role in expanding the number of students served, improving our financial model, raising our profile in the national discussion of educational policy and attracting strong partners. We look forward to Steven continuing his work as a senior advisor to our organization."

“I am humbled by the board's appointment and the opportunity to lead the next phase of Citizen Schools' efforts to reimagine middle school learning in this country,” said McCann. During her tenure, Citizen Schools has tripled in size and has expanded from a boutique after-school program in Boston to serve students across seven states in 12 districts. McCann has been instrumental in launching new regions, building the organization’s infrastructure and regional support structure, and overseeing growth strategy, business planning, and financial management.

“As we work to close the opportunity and achievement gap for middle school youth, the board and our staff are excited to embark on Citizen Schools’ next chapter with Emily’s leadership,” continued Summers. “She is uniquely suited to assume this role given her experience, character and deep understanding of Citizen Schools’ students and partners.”

“Our mission of providing quality education to under-served students is both inspiring and uniquely worthy,” shared Rothstein. “I am proud of the work we have done to write the newest chapter of Citizen Schools, but have decided it is best that I transition from the CEO role and I am confident the organization will be in excellent hands with McCann at the helm.”

Prior to joining Citizen Schools, McCann led business planning and development at the Walt Disney Company and served as an analyst in Mergers and Acquisitions at J.P. Morgan. She serves on several national non-profit boards including Teach Plus and Good Sports. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. A seven-time marathoner, McCann lives in Needham, Mass. with her husband Sean, a secondary school history teacher, coach and admissions officer and their four children.

“Steven has helped navigate the organization through the challenges of transition and I am thankful for his energy and his commitment to our mission,” said Co-Founder and former CEO Eric Schwarz. “I am confident that Citizen Schools’ best days lie ahead. Emily is a seasoned, strategic leader whose passion for educational equity and expertise will position Citizen Schools as a leader in serving middle school students.”

Media Contact:  Matt Ellis Ellis Strategies, Inc. matt@ellisstrategies.com | 617-278-6560

About Citizen Schools Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Citizen Schools mobilizes a team of AmeriCorps educators and volunteer “Citizen Teachers” to teach real-world learning projects and provide academic support in order to help all students discover and achieve their dreams. For more information, please visit http://www.citizenschools.org/

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Expanded Learning Time Panel Discusses How Community Partners Can Make an Impact for Students

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TVyBqLSHjk "Extended learning may be the only reason some young people come to school." - Jonathan Brice, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, US Department of Education.

On May 19, the Center for American Progress (CAP) hosted a panel, All Hands on Deck: How Expanded Learning Time Schools and Community Partnerships Work Together to Improve Outcomes for Students, to discuss how expanded learning time (ELT) and community partnerships can create a positive impact for students and schools.

The event featured remarks from Carmel Martin, Executive Vice President of Policy at CAP, and Jonathan Brice, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, US Department of Education. The panel was moderated by Jennifer Davis, Co-Founder and President of the National Center of Time and Learning, and included Eric Schwarz, Co-Founder and CEO of Citizen Schools, Megan Bird, Managing Director of Program for Citizen Schools Massachusetts, Chris Caruso, ExpandED Schools Senior Vice President, and Kerri Ayn Seow,  Third Grade Teacher, Thurgood Marshall Academy Lower School.

The panelists discussed how community organizations, such as Citizen Schools, have partnered closely with schools and their administration to make an impact for students, teachers, and the community at large with an expanded day. The additional hours allow for more time for academics, more enriching activities, and more time for teacher collaboration and planning.

"ELT gives me the chance to teach what I wasn't able to during class and the extra activities enrich my lessons," Kerri Ayn Seow.

Read more about the event here.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: Lawrence H. Summers Announces Steven Rothstein as CEO of Citizen Schools

CONTACT:  Holly Trippett, Citizen Schools, 301-452-3904, hollytrippett@citizenschools.org FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LAWRENCE H. SUMMERS ANNOUNCES STEVEN ROTHSTEIN AS CEO OF CITIZEN SCHOOLS

May 22, 2014 – Boston, Mass. – Citizen Schools’ national Board Chair Lawrence H. Summers announced that the board has unanimously selected Steven Maze Rothstein as the organization's next Chief Executive Officer. Rothstein will join Citizen Schools August 1, 2014 as CEO-elect and will assume the CEO role on September 1, 2014. He will succeed Co-Founder and CEO Eric Schwarz, who led the organization for nearly 20 years. “At a time of growing inequality of opportunity, Citizen Schools has proven that expanded learning time significantly boosts academic proficiency,” said Summers. “Steven Rothstein is uniquely suited to continue the great work of Eric Schwarz. The board, the staff, and I are excited to work with Steven as we provide opportunities for academic success to all students.” Rothstein recently stepped down as President of The Perkins School for the Blind, where he served as President for 11 years. At Perkins, the nation’s first school for the blind, which counts Helen Keller among its alums, Rothstein grew in-person and online educational services from 40,000 to 850,000 students, parents, and teachers; completed a $136 million capital campaign, the largest in the school’s history; and grew annual operating revenue from $40 million to $72 million. Rothstein previously served as Co-Founder and General Manager of Citizens Energy Corporation, the world’s first nonprofit social mission oil company, increasing gross annual sales for Citizens and related companies to more than $2 billion. Citizens, which was Co-Founded and is now led by former Congressman Joe Kennedy, has provided free home heating oil to an estimated half a million elderly individuals and low-income families. Rothstein also served as Assistant Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation from 1987 to 1990. The national board's appointment of Rothstein came at the unanimous recommendation of an eight member search committee chaired by Sherif Nada, a former Citizen Schools board chair, and including five board members, a major funder, and two members of the national staff. Search firm Isaacson Miller supported the search. “I am honored and humbled to join the Citizen Schools team,” said Rothstein. “The opportunity to work with smart people, volunteers, donors, supporters, and public officials to positively impact urban education is incredibly exhilarating. I am excited to continue the momentum that Eric and the team have built to impact thousands of students nationwide.” “Steven Rothstein is a innovative, experienced, and compassionate leader,” said Schwarz. “I look forward to supporting him and our excellent team during this transition. Citizen Schools has invented a new approach to education -- an approach that offers low-income children the extra academic practice, mentoring support, hands-on projects, and strong social networks needed to fully close opportunity and achievement gaps. Our results are strong, but now the challenge is scale. We need to make Citizen Schools the new normal in urban education.” Founded in Boston in 1995, Citizen Schools partners with underserved public middle schools across 14 school districts in seven states to dramatically expand the learning day by 400 hours each academic year. The organization mobilizes a team of AmeriCorps Teaching Fellows and volunteer “Citizen Teachers” who provide academic coaching and skill-building apprenticeships. Rigorous external evaluations indicate that Citizen Schools’ Expanded Learning Time (ELT) initiative significantly boosts academic proficiency, helps schools provide a well-rounded education, and more than doubles interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through apprenticeships like robotics and video game design. A study of Citizen Schools students in Boston, MA and Charlotte, NC indicated that Citizen Schools helps students fully close high school completion and college access gaps with their middle income peers while also narrowing the college completion gap. Citizen Schools addresses a growing opportunity gap that is fueling growing inequality between lower and higher-income children in everything from test score proficiency to college graduation rates to lifelong earnings. A study by The Afterschool Corporation found that by the time children from low-income households reach 6th grade, their middle and upper-income peers spend 6,000 more hours engaged in formal and informal learning. Another study by educational economist Richard Murnane indicated that upper-income families have tripled their investment in their children’s education in a generation, while lower-income children have counted on resources from public schools. About Citizen Schools Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Citizen Schools mobilizes a team of AmeriCorps educators and volunteer “Citizen Teachers” to teach real-world learning projects and provide academic support, in order to help all students discover and achieve their dreams. In the 2013-2014 academic year, the nonprofit served over 4,900 students and engaged 240 AmeriCorps Teaching Fellows and over 5,000 volunteer teachers. For more information, please visit http://www.citizenschools.org/.

CEO: Inspiring Lessons Learned from Skoll World Forum

Eric Schwarz is the CEO and Co-Founder of Citizen Schools.

As is often the case at the Skoll World Forum for social entrepreneurs in Oxford, England, which wraps up today, an artist with grit stole the show.  This year it was Annie Lennox.  In her heyday she was Annie Lennox and the Eurythmics.  Then came decades of AIDS and anti-war activism, a family, and ongoing success (four Grammy's) as a pop star.  Last night at Oxford's New Theater (one of the few buildings I was in all week less than 600 years old) Lennox performed for 1000 social entrepreneurs and other social change-agents who gather here for a remarkable annual conference that marries indignation at the injustices of the world, wonder at changes underway, and confidence that, on balance, injustice is in retreat.  Man, can she sing.  And, man, what a spirit.

I watched Lennox perform while sitting with Dorothy Stoneman,  the veteran social justice leader who built the YouthBuild movement over the last 35 years, transforming hundreds of thousands of lives across now 268 communities. Dorothy's program works because she has an unshakeable belief in the capacity of young, poor men of color -- her core constituency -- to lift up their communities and themselves.  This belief has sustained her and YouthBuild as she has built a still-tenuous funding base and continues growing and fighting for opportunity with every fibre of her being.  A few rows in front of us was Cecelia Flores-Oebanda who is working to end human slavery in her native Philippines and across the world.  Taddy Blecher, who sat a few rows away, is creating free universities across Africa -- free because class sizes are as large as 500 and because the students also work at a variety of university-run businesses, raising the money needed to eliminate tuition.

All around us were dozens of pioneers, finding new ways to bring education, health, jobs, water, and freedom to the world's neediest citizens.

Every year I come home from Skoll humbled by the amazing work of others, excited at the insights we are able to share, and inspired to step-up our work to reimagine and reinvent the U.S. education system.  Following, in no particular order, are a few lessons I learned this year, or was reminded of, and are top of mind for me as I prepare to fly home:

  • Much of the best social change work in the world is about building social networks and bridges -- bridges between  farmers, fishermen and markets, as with FairTrade USA, Root Capital, and the Marine Stewardship Council; between medicine and remote villages, as with Riders for Health and their motorcycling medical delivery drivers across Africa; between different cultures and nationalities, as with Search for Common Ground and Ecopeace; and between children and successful professionals, as with Citizen Schools and INJAZ Al-Arab, which connects business volunteers to schools across the middle east.
  • Many social entrepreneurs help the "client" become a producer, building ownership, efficacy, and skill at what Citizen Schools calls the top of the triangle.  Taddy Blecher and Dorothy Stoneman blur the line between student and worker as does Bill Strickland at his Pittsburgh-based Manchester Craftsman's Guild and Martin Burt at Fundacion Paraguaya.

  • Social entrepreneurs are skilled at developing financial models that can scale -- pushing hard to reduce costs so they can deliver quality services at a price that communities of need can afford. For example, Debbie Aung Ding and her husband Jim Taylor, who met as civil rights foot soldiers in Mississippi, worked for years in her native Myanmar to get the price of a plastic water pump down to $13, allowing them to sell the pump and other income-producing products to 100,000 families.
  • The best social entrepreneurs treat the children and families they serve with respect and trust.  I learned of a new school in Chile where the outcasts from other schools learn Yoga and Meditation, eat delicious food, and learn to love their teachers -- eventually -- and only after the teachers display saintly doses of patience.  The school, Fundacion Origen, has gotten the youth development and ed reform balance right, engaging and building up the youth while also delivering higher test scores and a drop-out-rate of zero, said founder Mary Ann Muller.
  • Social entrepreneurs are creative and look for solutions in surprising places. Bart Weetjens of Apopo, for instance, has trained rats how to sniff out and defuse land mines, reclaiming hundreds of thousands of acres to use again as farmland. 

  • Increasingly, social entrepreneurs are working in close partnership with government.  In California, Roadtrip Nation, is working with the state department of Education to embed its career-exploration curriculum in high schools across the state.  And individual change-makers are migrating between nonprofits and government, whether at the grand scale of Partners In Health co-founder, Jim Kim, going to run the World Bank, or the very local scale of Becky Vogel  leaving Citizen Schools to run expanded learning time partnerships for The Edwards Middle School.
  • While many of the flashiest projects involve direct service in remote villages or third-world cities, some of the most meaningful efforts at Skoll involve seemingly dry topics like land title reform and accounting.  Global Footprint Network, for instance, is trying to establish a better accounting system than Gross Domestic Product, because GDP calculates production and consumption and does not take into full account the devaluing of the world's capital resources such as its land and water.
  • I learned as well, that the world's largest companies see the world changing fast and want to be part of the change.  With millions leaving poverty each year, even as great disparities remain,  they see new markets opening, and they see new combinations of talent, technology, and program combining together to make change where change did not happen before. The companies want in on the action and want to help, which is why Cisco, and HP, and Google, and Twitter, and more were at the conference, eager to use their talent and their tools to make the world a better place.
  • I learned there are pockets of people all over the world who know about and draw inspiration from Citizen Schools.  Two years ago I met with Louise van Rhyn, CEO and Founder of Symphonia for South Africa. Now Louise says she goes all around her country talking about the 80 percent of a child's waking hours that are out of school and the need for citizens to step up as full partners with the state in ensuring healthy futures for their children and their country.  "We elected a new government," Louise told me last night, "but now we need models like Citizen Schools to get our people engaged in making our society work."  Others in Japan, Colombia, and England said they are frequent visitors to our web site.  Willy Oppenheim, a Rhodes Scholar and founder of Omprakash, which connects volunteers, to schools around the world, said he has drawn inspiration from Citizen Schools since his days teaching in rural Maine; he offered to push the Teaching Fellow job opportunity on his web site, which gets 13,000 unique visitors every month.

  • My last lesson was about grit.  We talk about how our kids will need to develop and show grit as they take on big challenges and work their way through hardships to inspiring futures.  We on the staff need grit too.  And we need to find ways to perpetually replenish our supply -- whether it is through listening to Annie Lennox, talking with an inspirational peer, or just spending a little more time with a child or parent or volunteer at Citizen Schools and reminding ourselves that we are helping to build a bridge to a better, fairer, more beloved future.

CEO: Why YOU Should become a Teaching Fellow

Eric Schwarz is the CEO and Co-Founder of Citizen Schools A lot of people in education talk about achievement.  And a lot talk about opportunity.  But too few put the two together. Please read on and consider applying by  April 27th to become an AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow at Citizen Schools, where you can help build a movement to increase opportunity and student achievement.

At Citizen Schools our mission is to close the opportunity and the achievement gap by providing children with dramatically more time for learning, including more time for academics and more time for a well-rounded education.  Participating middle school students get more time to practice their academics; and they also get to work with lawyers and architects and engineers to make cool things and to understand the link between school and careers.

It all adds up to opportunity, and it is proven to drive achievement.  In fact, an external evaluation indicated that Citizen Schools erased the achievement gap in graduation rates and on state test scores – all while making learning more engaging and fun.  Last year Citizen Schools’ Expanded Learning Time schools in Boston and New York lifted student achievement as much or more than the most successful charter schools, such as KIPP.

Citizen Schools’ National Teaching Fellowship is your opportunity to serve as an educator, to grow as a professional, and to connect children with the abundant resources in their community.  If you have the passion,  dedication, and commitment to educational excellence to accept the challenge to serve as an AmeriCorps member with Citizen Schools,  you could be  changing the lives of middle school students next year.  The time to act is now.

 

The Day the CEO came to Work with Me

Otto Katt is a Second Year Teaching Fellow at the Irving Middle School in Roslindale, MA

It’s not every day that the CEO of an organization of 500+ employees takes times out of his day to muck it up in the trenches. But on a recent occasion, amidst staff shortages, our fearless leader, Eric Schwarz, took time from his managing, directing, and executive decision making to substitute teach in a classroom. Mr. Schwarz founded Citizen Schools in 1995 and taught the very first apprenticeship. Over a period of several weeks Eric taught students about the ins and outs of journalism. From those humble beginnings, Citizen Schools has expanded to 7 states, serving 4,000+ students a year, and has become a lead innovator in the field of Expanded Learning Time.

My day starts with a trek into downtown Boston where I work in our Marketing and Communications department. While I was sitting at my desk that overlooks the beautiful Boston Channel, I hear a voice call my name. Now, Eric is not an overtly intimidating figure, but he is 6’3 and he is the big cheese.

“Otto, what time you do usually catch the “T” for campus?”

“Umm {thinking to myself wait, you know my name} we, uh, usually leave, at like 11:15”

“Ok, stop by my desk before you head out and I’ll come along.”

The commute to school usually consists of lesson planning, some griping, and mental preparation for facing a horde of, at times, very trying adolescent middle-schoolers. Today’s trip was different, Eric was quizzical about what it’s like working at HQ and then having to transition to campus. He asked my one coworker about a blog post she had written on the challenges of living on a stipend. He wanted to know what it was like implementing a new program at a school facing significant challenges. And we got to ask him questions. What’s the long term plan for the organization, how has Citizen Schools changed since its inception, what are the Knicks chances this year (aside from his taste in baseball teams, I approve of Eric’s NYC sports loyalties).

And when it came time to get down to business, Eric got his hands dirty. He sat through our pre-program meeting, learned our behavior management expectations, bathroom procedures, and what to do when a student said they had no homework. In the classroom he saw firsthand what it’s like to be a teacher when some of your students don’t speak English and when others have difficulty staying focused. He saw the joy that comes when a student makes something they are proud of, and the million little things you can’t account for when managing a classroom. When we reflected on the day, Eric shared his highlights and areas for improvement and thanked us for the opportunity to join our team for the day.

At a recent staff meeting, Eric talked about his experience. He showed the attendance list he had held onto, a memento of his first classroom experience in almost 3 years. In a day and age where there is a sense that corporate America has lost touch with Main Street; where CEOs are decried as fatcats who care only for their bottom line; where presidential candidates write off entire segments of the population for a lack of “work ethic;” it was heartening to see my bosses’ bosses’ bosses’  bosses’ boss, lend a hand rather than just paying lip service to challenges and needs of his employees. He did it without the glam and glitziness of “Undercover Bosses”, there were no cameras documenting the occasion, no photo-ops here. Just the genuine passion for a cause he earnestly believes in and cares about. I don’t know too many organizations, even in the non-profit world, where the CEO takes it upon himself to stop and pitch in. I know it’s been a lesson for me, if and when, I’m a manager, that I can do all the saying, exhorting, commending, and cajoling I want, but sometimes the most powerful thing, is just doing.

Want to come work for an organization where the CEO just doesn’t talk about the mission, he actually helps put it in action? Then check out our teaching fellow position and other opportunities.    

Expanded Learning Time at a Tipping Point

Eric Schwarz is the Co-Founder and CEO of Citizen Schools

“If we are truly going to change our educational system, we can no longer approach reform one school at a time. We need to tackle reform more systemically. It is time for the exception to be the rule.” Regis Shields, Education Resource Strategies: 1,000 Schools vs 1,000 School Districts

Regis Shields is right: Expanded Learning Time for the moment is a school-based reform. The bright spots that The National Center for Time & Learning celebrates indeed appear to be exceptional cases, found only in unique circumstances like turnarounds, district-selected innovation schools or charter schools, free from district constraints.

The Edwards, Orchard Gardens, and other schools where Citizen Schools is providing a core of the expanded learning day enjoy levels of additional funding and autonomy not accorded to most low-performing schools across the country. Even the leaders of districts like Boston, Chicago and Newark, who have declared that ELT is a critical lever for reform of their lowest performing schools—and proven that to be true with real results—have not yet institutionalized the flexibilities their proof points enjoy.

She is also right that the clear path to district-wide adoption of ELT is blocked by the boulder of the status quo: how districts allocate resources, the level of autonomy schools have to shape compensation for their teaching force, and the value districts place on "non-traditional educators."

But there are three reasons why we as a nation will overcome these barriers and provide an expanded learning day for all kids who need it—and sooner than you may think.

1. ELT is close to reaching critical mass, in a critical mass of districts.

No thoughtful reform should sweep the country overnight. Charters didn’t. Given all the structural impediments, districts have chosen to test ELT in a small number of schools—and then use any successes as leverage to make systemic change. In Boston, for example, Citizen Schools' ELT partner schools now serve 21% of incoming middle school students this Fall, offering all of them a 40% longer day. Charters, meanwhile, are serving about 11% of public school students. With ELT programs not involving Citizen Schools factored in, 3 times more Boston middle schoolers benefit from in ELT than charters. And the district is paying for this today. Once ELT is serving at least 50% of the student population, a district will have tremendous leverage to drive reforms beyond what would have been possible a few years earlier. 2. ELT at scale is increasingly a high-yield, affordable investment. Even in these tight fiscal times, many communities and states may see a dramatically better and longer learning day as a great investment for parents and students. ELT delivers an appealing return on investment for districts: on average 40% more quality learning time for 10% of current per-pupil spending. And inspired by charter schools’ success in transitioning from a six- to a nine-hour learning day without significantly increasing their core budget, districts are using strategies like block scheduling, strategic staff deployment and increased class sizes to fund a longer learning day.

At the national level, ELT is no pipe dream if we focus on where the need and opportunity for payoff is greatest: high-poverty schools, in the middle school years—the funding exists today. The nation has only several million middle school age students attending schools that are majority low-income students. Enrolling 100% of these students in ELT programs, even at the upper end of per-pupil cost estimates ($2,000), would cost about $5 billion dollars. Federal funding streams exist that are meant to extend learning: SES, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, School Improvement Grants, and school-age child care grants. If even just half of these were directed to high-quality ELT, that would amount to $3 to $4 billion dollars.

3. Flexibility is closer than ever.

Districts may have a golden opportunity right now to sail with the winds of federal policy at their back.  The DOE’s initiatives, including Race To The Top, I3, ESEA waivers and reauthorization, all support ELT as a core lever for reform. As high performing charters are proving that high-need students can catch up to and surpass suburban peers through a longer school day, families demand an equally excellent educational experience at their district’s schools. A rigorous, relevant and engaging learning day should become a promise districts are expected to keep for their communities—with no excuses.

A tipping point is at hand. If you are convinced that a longer learning day can benefit kids at greater scale, it's time to join Citizen Schools, the National Center for Time & Learning, The After-School Corporation (TASC) and leading foundations like Wallace and Ford, in seizing this moment.

PRESS RELEASE: External Study Finds Citizen Schools Students Significantly Outperform Peers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

External Study Finds Citizen Schools Students Significantly Outperform Peers

National Nonprofit Spurs Positive Academic Outcomes and Successful Completion of High School

Boston, MA – August 31, 2010 – Policy Studies Associates (PSA) issued a final report today on a long-term, multi-phase evaluation of Citizen Schools, a national nonprofit that partners with middle schools in low-income communities to extend the learning day and increase student achievement.  Among other positive findings, the study found that former Citizen Schools participants were more likely to achieve at higher rates in high school and more likely to graduate from high school on time compared to a group of matched nonparticipants.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Achieving High School Graduation is the seventh and final report from the evaluation of the middle and high school experiences of former Citizen Schools participants in Boston.  The report looks at the academic trajectories of youth who participated in the Citizen Schools 8th Grade Academy program, comparing former participants with matched nonparticipants and, when possible, with Boston Public School (BPS) students overall.  In addition to significantly higher on-time graduation rates (71 percent compared to 59 percent), the report shows that Citizen Schools participants had higher math performance, higher English Language Arts scores on standardized tests and higher attendance rates in high school than their peers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The report tracked 448 students who participated in Citizen Schools in 8th grade and followed them for up to five years.  As described in previous reports in the PSA evaluation series, the students were primarily from low-income families and a substantial concentration of students has special needs.  Previous reports also noted that Citizen Schools participants were found to be at greater educational risk than BPS students overall prior to enrolling in Citizen Schools, based on their fourth grade performance on state assessment tests.  By tenth grade, former participants significantly outperformed their BPS peers on math and ELA state assessment tests.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  “Overall, this final report shows that participation in Citizen Schools not only helps middle school participants make the transition to high school more successfully than their peers,” said Elizabeth Reisner, Principal and Co-founder of Policy Studies Associates and co-author of the report. “It also shows that program participation has long-term benefits, contributing to patterns of higher performance and the successful completion of high school.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The report comes at a time of concern for graduation rates nationally. According to a June report from Education Week and the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, the nation’s graduation rate has dropped for the second consecutive year with 1.3 million students failing to earn high school diplomas.  President Obama has cited a “dropout crisis,” pledging billions of dollars in school-improvement funds focused on employing drastic turnaround measures in the poorest-performing schools.  According to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, “When 25 percent of our students – and almost 40 percent of our black and Hispanic students – fail to graduate high school on time, we know that too many of our schools are failing.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    “Many kids need more learning time to master basic concepts, but school also needs to be more interesting.  Citizen Schools provides real-world apprenticeships, small-group academic coaching, and early orientation to college and careers,” said Eric Schwarz, Citizen Schools Co-founder and CEO. “We still want to do a lot better, but we believe that this study shows that well-designed extended day programs can dramatically improve student engagement and achievement and help change the trajectories of students’ lives.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   This spring, after twelve years of partnering with Citizen Schools in Boston, Fidelity Investments signed on as lead national partner of Citizen Schools’ 8th Grade Academy program.  “Fidelity is thrilled with the final report from this study,” said Sheila Cavanaugh, senior vice president, Fidelity Investments. “Study results like these help establish Citizen Schools as a leader in the education field.  We are excited to help them expand 8th Grade Academy to five new schools across the U.S. this fall.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Citizen Schools will work with Public/Private Ventures on a subsequent evaluation, which will build on the learning from the most current evaluation by including students from multiple states and employing a random assignment design.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        About Citizen Schools Founded in Boston in 1995, Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for low-income children across the country. Citizen Schools uniquely mobilizes thousands of adult volunteers to help improve student achievement by teaching skill-building apprenticeships after school. The organization’s programs blend these real-world learning projects with rigorous academic and leadership development activities, preparing students in the middle grades for success in high school, college, the workforce, and civic life.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Citizen Schools partners with 37 middle schools in seven states, including CA, MA, NC, NJ, NM, NY and TX.

About 8th Grade Academy 8th Grade Academy is Citizen Schools’ “capstone” program targeted to address the specific needs of eighth grade students transitioning from middle school to high school.  Based on the successful model in Boston, Citizen Schools’ national 8th Grade Academy program helps students across the country attain the academic and real world skills they need to launch into high school, graduate, and succeed in college.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                About Policy Studies Associates Policy Studies Associates (PSA) conducts research in education and youth development. The studies PSA conducts for its clients span evaluation, policy analysis, and many other forms of systematic inquiry.  PSA’s clients include federal, state, and local government agencies, foundations, and other organizations that aim to use high-quality data to make policy decisions.  For more, www.policystudies.com.

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Citizen Schools is NOT “Waiting for Superman”

The movie Waiting For “Superman”, is a compelling film about education in America.  Citizen Schools' very own CEO Eric Schwarz wrote a companion piece to the film in the book Waiting For “Superman”.  We’re hoping to capture some of the buzz around this movie to encourage people to be education superheroes and serve as Citizen Teachers. Check out our new website: www.wearethesuperheroes.com.

Citizen Schools CEO Speaks Before U.S. Senate

As part of its work on reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (also known as No Child Left Behind), the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee invited Eric Schwarz, Citizen Schools Co-founder and CEO, to testify at a roundtable hearing on meeting the needs of the whole student. Eric joined a distinguished panel of educators, including Geoffrey Canada of Harlem Children's Zone and Lynsey Wood Jefferies of Higher Achievement. Senators learned about Citizen Schools and our results, including the success we've seen at the Edwards Middle School in Charlestown, MA where Citizen Schools delivers an expanded learning time program for all 6th graders. View a video of the roundtable hearing here.