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Achievement First Seen & Heard

See who’s talking about Achievement First and read updates on how and what we’re doing.

Connecticut | New York | Rhode Island | National



New Haven Student Finds Technology Passion
“STEM teachers at Elm City College Prep encourage creativity in New Haven. Student Devon, who used to have trouble in school, is excelling and wants to be an engineer.”
NBC Connecticut

All Students Should Have Access to AP Courses, and I am Living Proof
Hartford junior Brian Ozenne writes, “I took my first advanced placement class — world history — when I was a sophomore in high school. This year, I’m a junior taking three AP courses. Next year, I’ll take four more. As a student of color who lives in Hartford, this makes me unique. It doesn’t have to.”
NBC Connecticut
Connecticut Mirror

Amistad Senior Chooses Harvard After Being Accepted to 4 Ivy League Schools
“Tolulope Adeniji was accepted to Yale, Brown, Harvard and Penn. On Thursday, she had her big reveal. For Tolu, it’s not so much her success, but seeing other black and Hispanic students thrive that inspires her. ‘Seeing other people that I know achieve such great things kind of reminds you that, yeah, it’s possible for people who look like me.'”
News 8

My Black Teachers and I
Bridgeport eighth-grader Shaliyah Patnelli writes, “Kids need more examples of what people my color can become. I am going to be one of them.”
CT Post

Charters Give More Parents a Say in Their Child’s Education
“New Haven is home to several charters that are among the highest performing not just in the district, but across the state. Notably, U.S. News & World Report named Achievement First Amistad High School — a charter public high school in New Haven — the number one public high school of any kind in the state.”
New Haven Register

students smiling on Senior Signing Day

New York

New School Model Gives Kids Freedom to Choose What They Learn
“We’ve redesigned our middle school to focus in on what it would take, beginning in 5th grade, to see our students when they go to a college campus really thrive on campus and persist, rather than simply being ready to enter a college campus,” Zachary Segall, Principal of Achievement First Aspire said.”

Brooklyn High School Debate Team Defies Expectations to Win Championships
“Students deliver passionate speeches about topics such as civil rights, net neutrality and foreign policy. They often take home honors from the meets, coach DiCo said. Sometimes they’re the only black and Hispanic kids at the competitions.”
Fox 5
New York Daily News
New York Daily News (Hometown Hero award coverage)

Achievement First is Betting on a New Model to Help More of its Students Graduate College
“The model, known as ‘Greenfield’ for its open-minded approach, was first piloted in Connecticut. But starting in 2018, it rolled out for the first time in New York City at a new Brooklyn middle school.”
Chalkbeat New York

A Proud Distinction for Uncommon, KIPP and Achievement First
“Uncommon, KIPP, and Achievement First are helping New York City’s charter sector be one of the best in the nation at producing students who graduate from college.”
New York Daily News

Brooklyn Test Results Show Charter Schools a Saving Grace in Black/Hispanic Neighborhoods
“Several other charter schools in largely black and Hispanic neighborhoods scored in the top 50 in test results including both the Uncommon and Achievement First charter school networks.”
Kings County Politics

middle school boy participating in class

Rhode Island

Some Schools Lead the Way
“Elementary school students at Providence’s Achievement First Mayoral Academy, for example, outperformed the state’s students as a whole in English, though many of them come from immigrant homes where English is a second language. In math, they outshone not only the state but tony East Greenwich, one of Rhode Island’s wealthiest communities.”
Providence Journal

Editorial: The Proof of What’s Possible
“The gem of the state — the greatest outlier — was Achievement First in Providence, a public charter school that serves many poor, minority and immigrant children, a huge percentage of them eligible for free and reduced-price lunch, a measure of poverty.” Providence Journal

Top of Class: 28 R.I. Schools Earn State Commendation
“Achievement First Providence Mayoral Academy Elementary is among 28 schools statewide that have been recognized as commended schools by the Rhode Island Department of Education.”
Providence Journal

Charter School Achievement First Starts First Year of Middle School
“This month, the first class to go through the Achievement First Providence Mayoral Academy Middle School will be starting the school year with a class of fifth graders, on the way to growing to grades 5-8. This year’s fifth graders will be the first to graduate from the middle school.”

Acclaimed Charter Serves Special Needs
Achievement First Iluminar kindergarten special education teacher Carmen Naz writes, “I wish this school had existed when my brother was younger. If he had started out here, Achievement First would have done everything possible for him. He would have succeeded in his early days, just like my students.”
Providence Journal

Time To Do What Works
Achievement First is doing a spectacular job educating young people in Providence — including a large number of poor and minority students. But instead of expanding this effort to help more students share in the American Dream, Providence leaders have set up impediments.”
Providence Journal 


In a Wildly Changing World, A School Hits Reset
“Greenfield is a showcase for many of the big ideas converging in a rolling reinvention of school: the idea that more kids will accomplish remarkable things if we treat them as unique learners—something technology now can assist; that non-academic skills can’t be limited to buzzy ideas like building resilience, but must nurture students as confident, powerful individuals; that enrichments are not extras or rewards but fundamental to building a discovery mindset; that schools will not succeed unless families and communities shape them and drive their objectives.”
TFA One Day Magazine

Can Kids Get Passionate About Learning — and Develop the Persistence to Follow Where it Leads? One School has a Plan
“Where the Greenfield model pushes boundaries is in the addition of learning experiences called ‘expeditions.’ These are not field trips. They are two-week intensive courses that take children outside the classroom and beyond the traditional subjects.”
The Hechinger Report

After Seeing Alumni Struggle, A Charter Network Revisits Its Methods
“The Greenfield model emphasizes what the network calls ‘student-directed,’ or online, learning; three-times-a-year special classes called expeditions, meant to allow students to explore their interests and discover possible careers; a social-emotional curriculum focused on developing students’ sense of identity and community; and a beefed-up role for parents and other caregivers and mentors.”
The New York Times

Smoothing the Path — Better Preparing Students for Long-Term Success
“Almost all AF high school students will now take five Advanced Placement classes, including one math and one science, before they graduate, since national data clearly show that early exposure to rigorous, college-level content is essential.”
The 74

Progress Over Pessimism
“A recent study of large charter school networks found that a subset of these networks, including Success Academy, Achievement First, Uncommon Schools, and KIPP schools in the District of Columbia and the Bay Area, are producing dramatically better results for children than comparable schools.”
US News & World Report