How Charter Schools Like Uplift Education Are Building a Brighter Future

Sep 3, 2019 by

Pop quiz: What distinguishes a charter school from a traditional public school?

According to Arianna Prothero of Education Week, a charter school is “a tuition-free school of choice that is publicly funded but independently run.” 

In the roughly quarter-century since the first charter school’s debut, the movement has grown exponentially. Federal data places the total number of charter schools operating in the U.S. at about 7,000, with more than 3 million students enrolled. No longer a niche product, charter schools are now integral to the American education system.

Not all charter schools are the same, though. Let’s take a closer look at how one Texas charter school is redefining public education, and what it means for educators and parents alike.

Uplift Education: A Shining Example of What’s Going Right in Charter School Education

With more than 20,000 pupils on 21 campuses, Uplift Education is the largest charter school in North Texas. It’s supported by regional banks, beloved by local parents, and championed by state and regional education advocates.

It’s not just Uplift’s size and reputation. The numbers speak for themselves: Uplift’s class of 2018 achieved an eye-popping 100% college acceptance rate; 94% of graduates matriculated. The class received $84 million in grants and scholarships, making a critical difference for a student population where three in four pupils receive free or reduced lunch. Nearly three-quarters of 2018 grads were first-generation college attendees.

Why is Uplift so successful? It comes down to Uplift’s distinctive educational model, which supports the all-important “Uplift Difference.”

Uplift’s Model

Uplift’s model is built around two key domains: “The Whole Scholar” and Uplift’s “People Network.”

Pillars of “The Whole Scholar” include:

  • International Baccalaureate (IB) participation for all
  • A strong culture of scholarship
  • Connected students and families
  • A clear path to college admissions

Pillars of the “People Network” include:

  • A commitment to immersing talented team members in a supportive culture
  • Uncompromising operational excellence
  • Meaningful connections between students, staff, and families
  • A culture of continual innovation

How to Apply to Uplift Education

Uplift Education’s application process is lottery-based, meaning no pupil is guaranteed acceptance over any other. That said, the network’s vast size and scope ensures plenty of space available for aspiring scholars.

To get started, check Uplift’s application page, which lists Uplift schools with immediate openings. Refer to each school’s website for more specific information about its offerings, keeping in mind that campuses are widely dispersed across the Metroplex.

A Brighter Future Is Within Reach

Innovative charter schools like Uplift Education give us reason to hope about the future of American education. While a single North Texas school won’t solve decades of structural challenges, it’s encouraging to see such a vibrant educational model at work in the community.

Can you find an example of true education innovation in your own backyard? If you’re not familiar with the charter school options in your city or county, now’s the perfect time to take a closer look. Keep in mind, too, that charter schools aren’t the only institutions pushing the educational envelope; across America, magnet schools and even traditional public schools are breaking the mold, one pupil at a time.

It’s an exciting time to be an educator. Here’s to another decade of innovation — and a generation of student beneficiaries.

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