Policy & Advocacy

Chad Policy WORK


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:

Newark Community Innovation Labs: The Labs are a new city-wide peer participatory research initiative sponsored by the Chad School Foundation program designed to empower Newark based high school and college students to collaboratively address some of the most pressing challenges and opportunities in the city. The Newark Community Innovation Labs are designed to allow young people to discover things about themselves as students, issues facing our society, and how we can collectively work together as citizens of Newark and also as citizens of the world!


The Newark Community Innovation Labs will work as a catalyst for social impact and  local empowerment.  The mission of the Newark Community Innovation Labs  is to build social capital and invest in new approaches to solve  present and emergent challenges in Newark. The labs aim to foster  innovation, research and development (R&D), entrepreneurship, and  human capital development talent among those invested in Newark’s  future. The Newark Community Innovation Labs will collaborate with both  K-12 and post-secondary partners in the Newark education community to  address some of the most pressing challenges across seven key dimensions  of urban life:

  • Community Infrastructure Lab
  • Education Lab
  • Energy & Environment Lab
  • Health Lab
  • Immigration Reform
  • Law & Justice
  • STEM Lab


Black & Latino Male Achievement Roundtable

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.