Mastery Charter Schools

About the School:
Mastery Charter Schools operates four schools in Philadelphia, serving 2,100 students in grades 7 through 12. Mastery believes that educational inequity is the most pressing social problem facing our country—the civil rights issue of our day. Mastery insists on high expectations and support from relentless teachers so all students can achieve success.

School Motto:
"Excellence. No excuses."

The Students:
Students are not screened on the basis of academic ability. Prospective students are recruited through community outreach and are selected by lottery.

Academic Results:
Through a unique partnership with the School District of Philadelphia, three of the four Mastery schools were originally low-performing district schools that turned around after Mastery came in. After Mastery assumed management of these schools, test scores increased an average of 52 percentage points per subject in every grade, while violence dropped 80 percent and student retention increased dramatically.

One hundred percent of Mastery's 2009 graduating class was accepted into a college or university. More than 93 percent of Mastery's first three graduating classes enrolled in higher education—67 percent in a four-year college. The class of 2008 received $2 million in scholarships, and the college dropout rate for Mastery alumni is less than 20 percent.

The Future:
In fall 2010, Mastery will open three new elementary schools. All three will be turnarounds of low-performing district schools.

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