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At the Hyde Family Foundations, our mission when it comes to education is simple: We focus on closing the achievement gap between low-income students and their wealthier counterparts, because all students deserve access to a high-quality education. It’s a basic civil right. In order to improve educational opportunities for all children in Memphis, we focus on three key ingredients: schools, people and advocacy.
We support schools such as Power Center Academy and KIPP Memphis that focus relentlessly on preparing underserved students for success in college, work and life. There is more than one pathway to excellence, but we firmly believe that all successful schools share certain characteristics, such as high expectations for students and adults, strong leadership, academic rigor, and clear benchmarks for performance. The success of our partner institutions – including district, charter, independent and faith-based schools – demonstrates that excellence in education can be achieved through multiple delivery systems.
We invest in proven initiatives that attract, develop and retain the best talent in the field of education, because the quality of a classroom, a school and an education system cannot exceed the quality of its people. Nationally recognized programs such as New Leaders for New Schools, Teach For America, The New Teacher Project and Building Excellent Schools have infused the Memphis public education system with many talented school leaders and teachers, who are the fundamental building blocks for success.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded the Memphis City Schools an unprecedented $90 million grant for its Teacher Effectiveness Initiative, and Tennessee is one of only two states to win the first federal “Race to the Top” competition. The Hyde Family Foundations is proud to support both of these programs, which will focus on developing critical human capital within our schools.
Schools are the cornerstones of vibrant, world-class cities, and today’s students will determine the future direction of our community. We support organizations such as Stand for Children, StudentsFirst, and Tennessee SCORE in their community-based efforts that empower citizens to place education at the top of the civic priority list.
The Hyde Family Foundations advocate for public policies that expand educational opportunities, empower strong leadership, enable school-based decision-making, and ensure that our state’s graduation requirements are aligned with college and work force readiness.