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One City Schools gets $1 million grant for long-term study on student outcomes

One City Schools gets $1 million grant for long-term study on student outcomes


Charter school One City is hoping a study of its school programming and students’ outcomes could help guide improvements in early childhood education elsewhere.

One City and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Wisconsin Evaluation Collaborative and the Center for Research on Early Childhood Education will partner with a $1 million grant, announced Wednesday, for a five-year study of One City’s educational methods and student outcomes.

The funding is through one of six Community Impact Grants through the Wisconsin Partnership Program, each for an initiative to improve health equity across Wisconsin. The news release announcing the 2019 grants states “education is a building block of healthy communities.”

“A grant to One City Schools supports the school’s work to advance health equity through an innovative model of early child education,” the release states. “Findings will be used to inform expansion of the preschool, inform the fields of early childhood education, and help support public policy and system changes around early childhood education.”

The grant will support a five-year “rigorous longitudinal evaluation of the school’s novel approach,” the release states, including its staff training, parent and community engagement and work with children. The study will “better illustrate how its model of early childhood education and family involvement can close educational and health gaps.”

The grant will be a 60-40 split, with 60% of the funding covering the study and 40% going to One City to support professional development for its teachers in its curricula.

“We’re extremely proud of the grant,” One City founder, president and CEO Kaleem Caire said. “It will help us with our long-term goal to unlock educational innovation and transform public education for our children in Madison and Wisconsin and nationwide.”

One City received a charter in 2018 through the UW System under a new law allowing such authorizations. The school currently serves students in 4K through first grade, and plans to expand each year until it serves students up through sixth grade. Until it received its charter, it had been a private, nonprofit early childhood education center.

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Scott Girard is the local k-12 education reporter at the Cap Times. A Madison native, he joined the paper in 2019 after working for six years for Unified Newspaper Group. Follow him on Twitter @sgirard9.

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This fall, Caire expands One City preschool to become one of the state’s first 4K and kindergarten charter options authorized by the University of Wisconsin’s Office of Educational Opportunity. Seven years after the Madison School Board rejected his proposal for Madison Prep, Caire is once again working to build a school that will serve kids in a district that has grappled with a longstanding achievement gap.

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