Policy & Advocacy

The Chad Policy Roundtables


Launched in the Spring of 2011, the Roundtable convenes policy makers, parents, researchers, school practitioners, and members of the community to review data and reports designed to improve public schools. The Roundtable takes on a particular interest in identifying and supporting best practices known to yield positive achievement outcomes for students of color.  

 The Foundation commissions writers and researchers to produce policy papers on topics relevant to comprehensive school reform and efforts to close the achievement gap. Papers are reviewed and discussed by the roundtable participants during a half-day session facilitated by the Foundation. The aim is to reach consensus on strategies that enhance the quality of teaching and learning in traditional public schools.   

Recent Policy Projects:

  • Black and Latino Male Achievement Roundtable: Following up on the 2015 Black and Latino Male Achievement Roundtable, Chad will host a roundtable on the digital divide and the resulting homework gap. The "homework gap" or the barriers students face when working on homework assignments without a reliable Internet source at home has widened as an increasing number of schools incorporate Internet-based learning into daily curriculum. Three-fourths of school districts, however "are not doing anything about ensuring outside of school access to broadband" according to research conducted by the Consortium for School Networking. With the mission of identifying and supporting best practices known to yield positive achievement outcomes for students of color, Chad's goal is to increase access to devices for students and to advocate for change in the NPS curriculum. 

  • Report on Newark Education Philanthropy 2012 - 2015: Convene several sector specific meetings with stakeholders related to Chad's recent report on Newark Education Philanthropy 2012 - 2015. General report presentations were made on May 16, September 19th and November 1st 2016. Chad will follow-up on recommendations made in the report and look to amend and update the report for publication in 2018.  

  • Eagle Academy Newark: As a follow-up to the Black and Latino Male Roundtable, Chad is conducting a year-long assessment of 11th graders at Eagle Academy. The Foundation intends to study the academic outcomes and impact of Chad's grant investments and how these 11th graders are being prepared for their senior year as well as post-secondary plans. On June 19, 2017, Project Manager Josh Gyimah and Intern Kwasi Nimako paid a visit to Eagle Academy to speak with Principal Mr. Semone Morant and School Operations Manager Mr. Thomas Owens about the impact of the prior Chad funds on students. Follow-up engagement and grant administration will be handled by the Senior Program Administrator and the Program Assistant  


2015 Black & Latino Male Achievement Roundtable

On June 13, 2015, at the  Bethany Baptist Church  in Newark, the   Foundation  held  its third citywide policy roundtable where  stakeholders were engaged to learn about the challenges facing   Black and  Latino young  men, as  well  as  opportunities to  more   effectively  respond  to  the needs of boys of color. 

Building on the theme, “Encourage and Equip,” an audience of over  160 parents, school practitioners, youth service providers, and  policymakers were allowed to examine evidence-based models and  strategies proven to yield positive results with young men (e.g.,  improving reading proficiency, increasing high school completion rates,  and college and career readiness). Equally critical, participants were  provided the opportunity to weigh in on a positive dialogue highlighting  the aspirations of young men, including examples of boys beating the  odds and succeeding in spite of the lack of familial and/or school and  social supports (see video below). Speakers and panelists included  Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Shawn Dove, CEO, National Campaign for Black  Male Achievement; David Banks, CEO, Eagle Academy Foundation; Robert  Clark, Executive Director of Youth Build Newark; and, Mark Comesanas,  Principal of Fast Track Success Academy, Newark 

Call to Action

Prior to the close of the program, the audience participated in a  collective call to action by adopting three policy recommendations to  include the following: 

1) Develop an Early Warning System for at-risk students; 

2) Provide adequate college guidance to all students; 

3) Establish moratorium on excessive student disciplinary practices. 


An Examination of Newark Education Philanthropy: 2012-2015


 Rationale and Objectives:


  • Catalogue education grant making during fiscal years 2012-2015.
  • Summarize lessons learned from individual and collective philanthropic strategies designed to strengthen public education in Newark.
  • Identify reforms funders believe demonstrate promise and should be preserved.

Areas of Focus



•Charter Development and Expansion

•Early Childhood Education

•Extended Learning and Out of School Time


•Independent and Parochial


•Post-Secondary Supports


•Vulnerable Populations

Policy Recommendations


Two overarching recommendations concerning the access and use of data are detailed below. 

 Access to Data · There is consensus among all participating foundations about the need for the Newark Public Schools to make available a much greater amount of academic, fiscal, and demographic data regarding the progress of schools and students. Funders believe the availability of such data will have the potential to create a shared understanding across stakeholders on the needs and challenges of Newark students and help inform an assessment of improvement efforts to date.  

Framework for Data Collection and Evaluation · Building on the Newark Arts Education Roundtable’s efforts to develop multiple measures to assess the impact of art programs on academic and social emotional achievement and other indicators, funders are calling for the adoption of an evaluation framework for education grantmaking encompassing all ten categories reviewed in this report.  The framework would include requirements for the use of outcome data to assess the extent of change, and multiple methods and techniques to gauge impact.