This letter was distributed to New Hope Academy Charter School faculty and staff on May 31, 2012:
Dear Mighty Ants,
As we conclude this school year, we are very proud to announce that we are anticipating a 95.7 percent graduation rate this year, a more than 4 percent jump over last year’s already impressive 91 percent. While these numbers are not yet official, I can confirm that every graduating student is leaving New Hope Academy with a plan for success, including 86.6 percent going on to college or the military, a nearly 3 percent improvement over 2011. We’ve achieved major milestones this school year, even sending every single one of our basketball team players, girls and boys, to college – every single one. This is game changing.
Our accomplishments are measured by the success of our students. This year has been a true reflection of how we are changing our educational landscape with choice beyond traditional public school options. Our commitment and determination to foster a new generation of students that is prepared to compete in a global economy has gained notice and support from community leaders, including Robert Kinsley, Deb Stock, Ken Wesler and Mayor of York, C. Kim Bracey.
We are working hard to tell our story. During the past two months, state Sen. Joe Scarnati, Deputy Secretary of the state Department of Education, Carolyn Dumaresq, and state Rep. DePasquale have toured our school and experienced our impact first-hand. After touring, we’ve heard phrases like, “impacting kids’ lives,” “a chance at success for the future” and “very creative in delivering education.” This is why we believe in choice.
Our passion for a better-than-average education that includes performing arts, science, mathematics and technology is palpable. We will not stand for our nation falling behind the rest of the world’s students. The U.S. ranking 14th in the world for reading, 17th for science and 25th for mathematics is simply unacceptable. Change begins with choice. It starts here, with us.
Just as our students prepare for summer, New Hope Academy Charter School administrators, 3 Cord, Inc. and the Urban Impact Community Fund will be gearing up to ensure our students and their families have access to a public education of choice. We will be hard at work telling our story and sharing our successes with decision-makers who will positively affect the appeals process for our charter.
Charter schools offer choice, innovation, accountability and put kids first, as it should be. I’m very concerned that the current discussion on education has been solely focused on dollars without sense. Educational funding should be tied to performance and student-centered outcomes. More money does not mean improved performance. More accountability does.
We are anticipating and prepared to go through an appeals process for our charter. We are confident that we will win. As we continue our focus and prepare to be open in the fall, we will also be preparing to service more students in our community. Your commitment to the children we serve, your drive to raise the bar and your desire for increased accountability are what will make New Hope Academy Charter School the school of choice.
Please enjoy your summer. You’ve earned it.
3Cord Managing Officer