Educational Institutions

Boston Plan for Excellence (BPE)

  • Boston, MA
  • http://www.bpe.org/

Mission Statement

BPE's mission is to drive exceptional outcomes for all Boston students by developing great teachers and great schools. Throughout BPE's history, we have focused on fulfilling a basic promise of our democracy: that every child should have access to a free, quality public education. For thirty years, BPE has devised solutions to the toughest challenges faced by Boston's students and teachers by weaving together expertise in teacher and school development. We have prepared over 600 teachers for the Boston Public Schools through the nationally recognized Boston Teacher Residency program. And we have pioneered scalable, cutting-edge data tools and whole school improvement strategies. Today, BPE is creating a PreK-12 pathway of neighborhood-based Teaching Academies, which are in-district schools providing a world-class education for all students while preparing outstanding new teachers for the Boston Public Schools. We launched our elementary Teaching Academy, the Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter School, in 2012, and assumed operations of the Dearborn 6-12 STEM Academy in 2015.

Main Programs

  1. Boston Teacher Residency (BTR)
  2. Teaching Academies: Dudley Street School and Dearborn STEM Academy
  3. Dudley Promise Corps
Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

BPE serves students and families in the Dudley neighborhood of Roxbury through Teaching Academies. It also serves teachers across Boston's public schools through the Boston Teacher Residency.

ruling year

2002

Principal Officer since 2011

Self-reported

Mr. Jesse Solomon

Keywords

Self-reported

teacher preparation, boston plan, training, bpe, btr, urban education, research, data, leadership, professional development, school improvement, district reform, inquiry, teachers, principals, promise corps, dudley, dsncs, residency, charter, schools, teaching

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EIN

22-2667403

 Number

6438331059

Also Known As

BPE

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

GREAT SCHOOLS When we launched the Dudley Street School in 2012, just 29% of students entered reading on grade level. At the end of the 2014-15 school year, 62% of students were reading on grade level and 71% of students met or exceeded growth targets for reading, according to the University of Chicago's STEP literacy assessments. 52% percent of students met grade level goals last year in math based on the BPS end of unit math assessments. On the new PARCC assessment, the school's outcomes were higher than the district overall in both Math and English. In July 2015, BPE assumed operations of the Dearborn STEM Academy which became our secondary Teaching Academy. Before BPE assumed operations, it had been a state designated ""Turnaround"" school for six years and was at risk for state takeover due to its inability to improve performance sufficiently. Now, the attendance rate is up (among the highest in BPS secondary schools); teachers are seeing progress on formative assessments; and students report that the main change this year is: "Teachers are harder on us, but in a good way. They expect more from you." GREAT TEACHERS The Boston Teacher Residency served over 20,000 students in Boston's schools. 31 new teachers graduated from the program in July 2015 and 94% of them were hired by BPS. They joined the 400 BTR graduates teaching in BPS, about half of whom are people of color. BTR graduates continually post higher retention rates than the district average (80% retained 3+ years; 6 year retention rate 20 percentage points higher than BPS). BTR graduates are twice as likely as other Massachusetts teachers to be rated Exemplary according to the state's new System for Educator Evaluation. GOALS Moving forward, our goals are as follows: 1. Create, refine, and codify the Teaching Academy model and disseminate our learnings. 2. All students in Teaching Academies reach academic proficiency.3. All BTR graduates teach effectively.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Boston Teacher Residency (BTR)

Among the first teacher preparation programs to use a medical residency model, the Boston Teacher Residency bridges the gap between theory and practice by placing teacher candidates called "residents" in K-12 classrooms for a year of intensive study and practice. Residents work with mentor teachers and their teams at Teaching Academies and complete a Master's degree program; through this residents acquire the theory, practical skills, and habits of continuous learning that help them to provide rigorous, engaging, and relevant instruction. BTR teachers engage students in the deep learning and critical thinking that workers rely on in today's complex world. Our design is grounded in what new teachers need to know and be able to do to impact student achievement in Boston. All residents commit to teach in Boston for three years, and we support graduates over that period as they hone their practice. Many BTR graduates work in schools with other alumni, where they support each other to achieve better outcomes for students.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Adults

Budget

$2,700,000.00

Program 2

Teaching Academies: Dudley Street School and Dearborn STEM Academy

Teaching Academies are autonomous in-district schools providing a world class education for all students while preparing outstanding new teachers for BPS through BTR. Teaching Academies are modeled after the best teaching hospitals, which provide exemplary care for patients and a premier training ground for new doctors. Our model reorganizes educators in service of student learning. By doing so, we are replacing the outdated, century-old school model, and we are redesigning the system of teaching to ensure that every student is prepared to succeed in the 21st century. A coherent instructional system aligns curriculum, instruction, assessment, professional development, scheduling, and more to ensure a seamless educational experience for students and residents. BTR residents learn essential professional skills while significantly contributing to student learning.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Adults

Budget

$1,978,900.00

Program 3

Dudley Promise Corps

The Dudley Promise Corps (DPC) is an AmeriCorps program representing a collaboration between BPE, Governor Baker, Mayor Walsh, Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, and BPS. Launched in 2013, DPC leverages the power of national service to address one of Boston's toughest challenges: the achievement gap. With a focus on literacy, DPC provides an immediate boost to children in Boston's Circle of Promise while building the city's pipeline of effective community leaders. Each year, DPC recruits 35 corps members to 500 students in BPS. Each member spends 1,300 hours in elementary schools in the Dudley neighborhood, focusing on literacy proficiency and expanded learning time. DPC members are in classrooms from the first day of school to the last, and work collaboratively with school staff to ensure that each student is actively engaged and making academic progress. Members receive extensive and specialized training to help them to improve student outcomes.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

College Aged (18-26 years)

Budget

$800,000.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    BPE is redesigning the urban school model to address two important and connected causes of inequity in Boston's schools: significant variation in teaching quality, and an outdated, century-old school model, which was not built to guarantee quality teaching for every child. For every student to succeed, great teachers must work together in well-organized schools, under strong leadership, with a cohesive set of instructional practices, and in a culture of continuous improvement. Our approach calls for (1) a new PreK-12 pathway of student centered schools called Teaching Academies in the Dudley neighborhood of Roxbury; (2) the preparation and support of outstanding teachers through the Boston Teacher Residency; and (3) codification and dissemination of the lessons we learn to catalyze reform across Boston and beyond. Teaching Academies provide access to ambitious teaching, drive student achievement, and serve as a rich training ground for new teachers. Early evidence indicates that this new school model, which we are developing at BPE, is advancing these goals. In a Teaching Academy, a coherent instructional system aligns curriculum, instruction, assessment, professional development, scheduling, and more to ensure a seamless, engaging, and rigorous educational experience for students and aspiring teachers called ""residents."" Modeled after the best teaching hospitals, Teaching Academies redesign how educators are organized in service of student learning. Teaching Academies are structured around teams of individuals with different expertise and experience levels who work together to ensure outstanding outcomes for all students. In our model, teacher preparation and school improvement are mutually beneficial and reinforcing. They run counter to the dominant system of teacher training, which separates the college from the K-12 school, separates theory and practice, and results in a pre-service system that can detract from student learning efforts at placement schools. Like medical residents in hospitals, BTR residents learn essential professional skills while holding specialized roles designed to significantly contribute to student learning. Residents from BTR are integrated into the life of the school from day one so that they make significant contributions to students. Currently, one third of Teaching Academy teachers are BTR graduates. This critical mass has been helpful in bringing staff together around a common language, set of values, and framework for instruction. The combination of the schools' alternative staffing model and an embedded, student-centered teacher preparation program makes our strategy unique. We intend to document our learnings and share them widely, as the results of our effort could have broad ramifications for the field of teacher education. In effect, BPE's Teaching Academies are acting as an R&D lab for urban teacher preparation. The late Ron Thorpe, who ran the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, inspired us to document and share what we are learning from Teaching Academies with this statement:""The time has come for the teaching profession to demand a residency experience for new teachers. It should be as carefully engineered as the medical residency but built to meet the specific needs of the teaching profession. Initially, we should expect all new teachers to spend at least one year in a ""residency school,"" similar to teaching hospitals…No one thing can transform teaching into the profession it deserves to be. But there is nothing more important than developing robust residency schools where young educators go between their undergraduate preparation and their arrival as autonomous practitioners. The change won't happen overnight, but eventually it will redefine the profession.""
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Teaching Academies aim to: (1) provide a world-class education for all students, preparing them for long-term academic success and responsible civic engagement, (2) prepare outstanding new teachers who will drive excellent student outcomes throughout BPS, and (3) catalyze improvement of all schools in Boston. The schools are organized around an instructional system designed to enable ambitious instruction in every classroom—instruction that consistently engages all students in rigorous content. The intentional coherence between Directors of Instruction, lead teachers, teachers, residents, data analysts, volunteers, parents, and students, along with the systems and tools to support their work, make rapid progress both possible and sustainable. Teaching Academies have an alternative staffing model that, together with regular progress monitoring of every student, allows for students to be matched with the right instruction at the right time. For example, the third grade team at the Dudley Street School has two teachers, two residents, two volunteers, and one special education teacher who are collectively responsible for 44 students across two classrooms. The fourth grade team has one math teacher, one English teacher, two residents, two volunteers, and one special education teacher. With coaching and regular feedback from the Directors of Instruction in math and literacy, each grade level team analyzes data together and plans instruction together, differentiating both instruction and staffing to ensure students get what they need each day. Within this environment, residents learn not just from one mentor teacher but from a system of teaching organized around student learning. All BTR residents are trained within our Teaching Academies for their practicum and practice-aligned coursework, allowing us to completely align the work of the residency to the work of the schools in which it functions. Embedding the elementary teacher residency program within our first Teaching Academy has created coherence between BTR and the school by focusing a high quality residency experience on the learning of real students in real time. BTR courses support the learning needs of students and residents simultaneously as residents take on authentic assignments which are aligned to the school's needs, merging theory and practice. After BTR's Class of 2015 graduated, 100% of BTR residents placed at the Dudley Street School reported on an end-of-year survey that BTR met their expectations. We believe that the increased coherence between BTR and the school is contributing to a more positive and impactful residency experience.Key programmatic elements in Teaching Academies include: extended learning time; flexible staffing and student grouping that ensure that students are matched with the right instruction at the right time; progress monitoring of every student, done in a shared context of expectations for students and adults, including regular feedback to teachers and staff; strong socio-emotional supports in collaboration with local partner organizations; Pre-Kindergarten classes to close achievement gaps and ensure students begin Kindergarten on grade level; business partnerships to support an embedded workplace readiness strategy, including internships, career pathway programs, dual enrollment in higher education and/or vocational courses, and relationships with successful mentors; active Family Council and strong parent engagement; and low student-to-adult ratio, utilizing trained volunteers from BPE's Dudley Promise Corps.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    BPE's greatest assets are its personnel and partnerships. BPE's Executive Director Jesse Solomon, Chief Program Officer Simon Hess, and Principals Dawn Lewis (Dudley Street School) and Lisa Gilbert-Smith (Dearborn) lead our Teaching Academies. All four are experienced teachers, teacher educators, and leaders, and all have experience launching autonomous schools in urban districts. They are supported at BPE by experts in instruction, operations, research and data, fundraising, and finance. Together, BPE staff have worked for thirty years exclusively in and for the BPS. BPE's employees have developed unparalleled expertise in quality instruction, urban teacher education, school data use, and whole school improvement. Importantly, BPE's employees put context first, starting from the strengths and needs present in each school community and in each neighborhood. We have learned a tremendous amount about how to achieve success in public education, and continue to feed learnings back into our work through evaluation and continuous improvement efforts. Staff biographies are available at bpe.org. Key partners include BPS, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, the Boston Foundation, and student services partners such as Project Hope. The Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative received a $6M federal Promise Neighborhood grant to implement neighborhood-based solutions in its five square mile area. By concentrating our work in this neighborhood, we leverage both our efforts and those of the Promise Neighborhood Initiative to close opportunity gaps for Boston's most vulnerable children. We have worked diligently to earn the trust of neighborhood residents, students' families, and students themselves, along with teachers and administrators across the school system. 100% of principals responding to a recent survey say they would hire another graduate of the Boston Teacher Residency. Families demonstrate their trust through a lower than average student mobility rate at the Dudley Street School, high engagement rates, the fifteen to twenty applications that come in per seat for the student lottery each year, a 95% attendance rate for students, a 100% family conference attendance rate, and unanimous agreement (100%) on a recent family survey that "This school is a good place to learn."BPE has an excellent track record in fundraising which, together with an endowment, ensures financial sustainability. In late 2014, BPE was awarded two highly competitive federal grants which, along with support from private donors, will enable us to carry out our strategy. A five year Teacher Quality Partnership grant will help BPE to continue strengthening BTR as a pipeline of diverse, high quality, and forward thinking teachers for BPS. A three year Investing in Innovation grant will help us to redesign Boston schools into a neighborhood-based, PreK-12 pathway of Teaching Academies.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Our long term goals are for all students at our Teaching Academies to reach proficiency in English, math, and science, for all students to make at least one year of growth every year, and for all students to develop the habits of mind necessary to be successful in college and career in the 21st century. We aim to develop critical thinkers, community leaders, and creative problem solvers. Simultaneously, the schools will raise the bar for teaching quality in the district, both by preparing a cohort of new teachers every year and by demonstrating models of coherent instructional systems which other schools can replicate. Our goals for our Teaching Academies for the 2016-17 school year are as follows: 1. Serve 600 students in Teaching Academies. 2. At the Dudley Street School: 75% of students are academically proficient in English and math; the school maintains an attendance rate of 95%. 3. At the Dearborn STEM Academy: 70% of students make one year of growth (or its equivalent) each year in math and English language arts; the school maintains an attendance rate of 92%. 4. Recruit and prepare a diverse cohort of residents; ensure each resident is ready to teach effectively upon graduation.5. Create, refine, and codify the Teaching Academy model and disseminate our learnings.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    At the Dudley Street School, we have significantly improved academic performance and the school's culture. However, we have not yet reached our goal of 100% proficiency. At the end of the 2014-15 school year, 62% of students in Kindergarten through grade three were reading on grade level and 71% of all Dudley Street School students met or exceeded growth targets for reading, according to the University of Chicago's STEP literacy assessments. 52% percent of students met grade-level goals last year in math based on the BPS end-of-unit math assessments. On the new PARCC assessment, the school's outcomes were higher than the district overall in both math and English. We will not be satisfied with our results until every student is performing at or above grade level at both of our Teaching Academies. We knew we had a tremendous challenge on our hands three years ago when our first class of first graders walked into our classrooms having been underserved elsewhere. Nearly every first grader arrived performing below grade level in reading and math. We set an ambitious target, chose an ambitious set of assessments, and have worked intently on achieving our goals, learning a tremendous amount in the process. Before BPE assumed operations, it had been a state designated ""Turnaround"" school for six years and was at risk for state takeover due to its inability to improve performance sufficiently. In 2015, before BPE was named operator, just 22% of Dearborn students in grades 6-8 scored Proficient/Advanced on the English language arts PARCC test, compared with 60% statewide. More alarming for a STEM school, just 13% were proficient in math on PARCC and not a single student achieved proficiency on the state science test (compared with 52% statewide in math and 42% statewide in science). We know that we will have to invest great energy, attention, and resources in the academic and social culture of the school, Our goal is not just to turn the school around but to build a great STEM school that will last for generations of children and families.We know we have much work to do on fully developing our school model. In the coming years, we will continue to build, operate, improve, and document our Teaching Academy model. We will uphold a coherent instructional system and refine it through continuous evaluation, documentation, and improvement. We will continue to shift the design of BTR to meet the needs of students in our schools. We are embedding lessons learned from the first four years of the Dudley Street School in our plans moving forward and will continue to build with the goal of codifying a replicable model that delivers improved student achievement and school based teacher preparation.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

BPE serves students and families in the Dudley neighborhood of Roxbury through Teaching Academies. It also serves teachers across Boston's public schools through the Boston Teacher Residency.

Additional Documents

Funding Needs

With a world class teacher education program, a new model of schooling, and a plan for expansion, BPE is a local and national leader for urban school reform. Over the next five years, BPE will increase student achievement by creating a PreK-12 pathway of innovative, neighborhood-based Teaching Academies, preparing outstanding BPS teachers to deliver ambitious instruction, and sharing the lessons it learns to catalyze reform across the city and beyond. We're proud to be part of a community that strives with such ingenuity and determination to ensure the promise of a high quality, public education for every child. Boston has made significant progress. But to achieve the dramatic improvements we seek, all of us - parents, schools, community organizations, and donors - must think and work together. There are a variety of ways to support BPE, including: *Donations and major gifts from individuals *Foundation, corporate, and government grants *Corporate sponsorships *Bequests *Gifts of stock *In-kind support such as pro-bono professional services *Internship opportunities for Dearborn STEM Academy students *Reading volunteers at the Dudley Street SchoolYour support is critical to ensuring every child in Boston has an excellent education.

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

BPE
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Boston Plan for Excellence (BPE)

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2015 and 2014
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  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Mr. Jesse Solomon

BIO

Prior to founding the Boston Teacher Residency program at BPE in 2003, Mr. Solomon taught middle and high school math for ten years — at the King Open School in Cambridge, Brighton High School, and City on a Hill Public Charter School. He was a founding faculty member, lead teacher, and a member of the board of directors at City on a Hill, where he began and directed the Teachers' Institute, a school-based teacher preparation program. Mr. Solomon has been an instructor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and is a National Board-certified teacher. He holds a BS in Mathematics from MIT and an MEd from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 2007, he was named a Barr Foundation Fellow for his strong leadership of the Boston Teacher Residency. Mr. Solomon became Executive Director of BPE in June 2011.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Charles K Gifford

Chairman Emeritus, Bank of America

Term: July 2015 - June 2017

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


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BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?