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ERIC Number: ED535864
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Feb
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Aspire Public Schools: From 10 Schools to 6-Million Kids
Colby, Susan; Wicoff, Kimberly
Bridgespan Group
Don Shalvey (former superintendent of the San Carlos, California school district) believes strongly that every kid in California deserves a great education. This belief led him in 1993 to found the first charter school (an independently-run public school) in California. Shalvey's first charter school attracted a great deal of attention, and soon he was working with Reed Hastings, a Silicon Valley high-tech entrepreneur and former teacher, to change the state's charter laws. Their goal: to make way for more charter schools. From those early efforts, Aspire Public Schools was born. The organization launched its first two schools in the fall of 1999 in California's Central Valley. By Aspire's fifth anniversary, it was operating 10 schools in the Central Valley and Bay Area and was recognized as the leading charter management organization (CMO) in the state. Impressive as these early results were, Shalvey and his Aspire colleagues were unsatisfied; success wasn't just about opening one, or 10, or even 100 great schools. It was about "transforming" education for all kids in California. With this goal in mind they secured $4.7M in grants from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the New Schools Venture Fund to expand Aspire's efforts and engaged with the Bridgespan Group in September of 2003 to chart a course for maximizing impact. This paper describes how Aspire Public Schools achieved its goals. (Contains 4 exhibits and 11 footnotes.)
Bridgespan Group. 535 Boylston Street 10th Floor, Boston, MA 02116. Tel: 617-572-2833; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Bridgespan Group
Identifiers - Location: California