The Silicon Valley Community Foundation has announced the launch of a new education reform effort to encourage and support the development of new public schools serving low-income children across San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.
Launched with $750,000 from the Walton Family Foundation and an additional $200,000 from SVCF, Innovate Public Schools will work to increase the number of district and charter schools focused on parents and students, performance measurement, and successful innovation. The organization, which is designed to complement the foundation's existing education initiatives and programs, will work with parents, teachers, and districts that want to create their own high-performing schools.
"More districts these days want to be able to compete with charter schools, and we will help them do that," said community leader Matt Hammer, who has been tapped to lead the organization. "There is no reason we shouldn't have a great school in every neighborhood. There are so many amazing teachers and principals in the valley, and we want to help them create the best public schools in the state serving low-income children."
The organization is an outgrowth of SVCF's long-standing commitment to education and its belief that all students have the opportunity to succeed. Although Innovate Public Schools will be located at the foundation's Mountain View headquarters, SVCF said it will continue to focus a portion of its philanthropic dollars on efforts to close the achievement gap.
"Innovate Public Schools will draw on the knowledge and expertise that we've developed," said the foundation's CEO, Emmett Carson. "At the same time, it will bring its own fresh thinking and approach to the question of how one of the smartest regions in the world can significantly improve the poor educational outcomes that we are seeing across all socioeconomic levels."