Barr Foundation Announces Details of New Education Strategies

As part of a refocusing of its Education program to connect all students to success in and beyond high school, the Boston-based Barr Foundation has announced details of its new education-related strategies.

Grounded in the belief that all students can succeed in school and in life, the foundation will align its efforts going forward to two strategies where it sees the greatest opportunities for it to be a constructive partner: achieving a new vision of secondary education in New England and expanding access to quality K-12 schools in Boston. In pursuit of the former, the foundation will focus on broadening the definition of student success to include competencies as well as mastery of academic subjects; supporting the development of new high school models and programs that are flexible and conducive to innovation; and advancing system conditions that support such models. "We recognize that conducting this work requires us to adopt a long-term perspective and will depend upon our ability to form deep partnerships across Boston, the Commonwealth, and New England — just as we will learn from and contribute to similar efforts around the country," said Leah Hamilton, the foundation’s director of education.

Building on its longstanding commitment to its home city, the foundation also will work to boost the number of students in Boston attending high-quality high schools, replicate high-performing public school models, and foster partnerships between high-capacity organizations — both local and national — and teachers, principals, and administrators to develop and implement high-quality programs.

"As we embark in this exciting new direction, Barr is eager to join and learn from both regional and national colleagues, partners, and practitioners in this work," said Hamilton. "Our hope is that our new focus will deepen our knowledge and expertise, while helping to inform and inspire participation in the growing groundswell behind innovation in secondary education. Early reactions to our new strategy from the education community have been affirming and encouraging."

"New Strategies for Barr’s Education Program." Barr Foundation Blog Post 03/02/2016.