Empowered Families

Empowered Families

Empowered families: Offering parents and students choices and innovations

Urban parents and students of all backgrounds are empowered with quality public school options, including innovative learning models that meet modern student needs.


Neerav Kingsland, chief executive officer for New Schools for New Orleans and Broad Residency graduate, secured a $33.6 million federal Investing in Innovation award to transform New Orleans’ lowest performing schools by opening new schools based on high-performing models, transforming existing schools into high-performing charter schools, recruiting 200 great teachers and creating three school support organizations. A 2012 survey showed that 90 percent of New Orleans parents strongly agreed that it was important that they be able to choose the school their child attends, up from 81 percent in 2009. Sixty-six percent felt their schools were better than before Hurricane Katrina (up from 31 percent in 2009). Learn more: Interview in Education Week, Watch Kingsland discuss New Orleans charters


Nancy McGinley, South Carolina’s Charleston County School District superintendent and Broad Academy graduate, nearly doubled the number of public magnet, charter and special-themed schools and programs to which parents and students had access between 2007 and 2012. McGinley secured taxpayer support for a plan to modernize classrooms, a plan that pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy in 2012.


Founded by Broad Residency graduate Emily Lawson, Washington, D.C.’s DC Prep is the highest performing public charter school network in the area. Ninety percent of eighth-graders graduate from high school—nearly twice as many as D.C. Public Schools on average. Seventy percent have enrolled in four year colleges.


Under the leadership of deputy of human capital development and Broad Residency graduate Audrey Lane, South Carolina’s Charleston County School District launched an annual Parent Choice Fair in 2011. The fair brings together 1,400 attendees a year—some 400 to 500 families—to help city families access quality public schools.


California’s Long Beach Unified School District achieved a 50 percent increase in the number of high school seniors completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, besting other similar U.S. Department of Education-funded pilot projects nationwide. As a result of this effort, led by Robert Tagorda, assistant to the superintendent and Broad Residency graduate, Long Beach students received 25 percent more college scholarships district-wide that year, a record $40 million total.


Chicago’s Intrinsic Schools, a public charter school network founded by Broad Residency graduate Melissa Zaikos, received one of 13 Next Generation Learning Challenges grants given nationwide in 2012 for breakthrough models that help prepare students of all backgrounds for college.


Jose Torres, superintendent of Elgin School District in Illinois and Broad Academy graduate, doubled the number of students participating in Advanced Placement courses between 2008 and 2012.


Carmita Vaughan, former chief of staff for Chicago Public Schools and Broad Residency graduate, developed an after-school program for the highest risk ninth-graders in 2010. Participants went on to achieve a 23 percent higher English pass-rate and 18 percent fewer absences than students not participating in the program. Ninety-one percent of participants went on to 10th grade, versus 86 percent district-wide.


Akeshia Craven-Howell, former director of pathways to college and careers for Chicago Public Schools and Broad Residency graduate, launched three centers in 2010 intended to reengage some 3,000 dropouts across the district and get them back on track to graduate and succeed in life beyond high school. She also launched five schools to help high-achieving students earn high school and college credits. Watch Craven speak about her experience building knowledge of the education sector through The Broad Residency.