Building Excellent Schools believes that dramatic student achievement in urban public schools is possible only within a highly structured, no excuses, results-oriented school culture in which leadership drives, communicates, and supports instructional expectations in every class every day.
The BES Fellowship is a rigorous, yearlong, full-time training program in urban charter school creation and leadership. There are currently 37 BES Schools in 17 cities across the country which will serve over 16,000 students at capacity.
BES is looking for the next cohort of entrepreneurial leaders who are driven to start outstanding urban charter schools that are independently managed. After the Fellowship, BES Fellows receive additional support and coaching as they guide their schools successfully through start-up and early operations. Schools founded by BES Fellows are free-standing, locally controlled, and independent managed.
Building Excellent Schools is guided by a core set of beliefs in its pursuit of excellent urban charter schools. BES believes that the greatest value for urban communities, desperately in need of strong educational options for their children, should be determined by student academic performance. School safety is critical, but it is not enough. Parental satisfaction is important, but it is not the bellwether of exemplary education. The most important question to ask in striving for academic excellence is: “How are students performing?”
In more than a decade of experience with the charter school movement, Building Excellent Schools has identified and worked with those urban charter schools that have set the bar by dramatically outperforming their peers. Along with the nation's highest performing urban charter schools, BES believes that urban families have the right to choose an excellent public charter school. Furthermore, we believe that:
Academic performance drives Leadership: Leaders of excellent schools demand, manage, and support strong academic performance.
Academic performance drives Design: Everything about a school's design - from its schedule to curriculum to instructional strategies - helps students achieve high academic standards.
Academic performance drives Culture: To succeed academically, students need and deserve a culture that is highly disciplined, tightly structured, and motivating of their intrinsic desire to excel.
Academic performance drives Decisions: Decisions at every level of a school's operation are based on careful measurement and analysis of student achievement.
Academic performance drives Governance: An urban charter school cannot succeed without the determination of its board to hold the school fast to its ambitious standards and provide the resources necessary to meet those standards.
Academic accountability drives Academic Performance: State standards and testing systems combined with strong internal standards and assessments provide essential incentives and guidance for student academic performance.
Building Excellent Schools works with individuals and communities who share these core beliefs; who are committed to building schools in underserved communities around measurable student outcomes; who embrace strong standards and are willing to set high expectations for all students; and who are prepared to do whatever it takes to help students reach and succeed in elementary school, middle school beyond elementary school, high school beyond middle school, and in college and beyond.