Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Partnership for Inner-City Education (the Partnership)?

The Partnership was formed in 2010 following the merger of two successful organizations — The Endowment for Inner-City Education and the Patrons Program. It is an independent 501 (c)(3) charitable organization that supports inner-city children and schools in the Archdiocese of New York.

The Partnership has combined experience of over 20 years and has invested more than $200 million dollars in four main areas:

  • Scholarships
  • Adopt-a-school program in which Patrons and other donors made investments and became personally involved in supporting individual schools
  • Academic and enrichment programs
  • Capital repairs
What is the Partnership’s mission?

The mission of the Partnership for Inner-City Education is to develop outstanding Catholic elementary schools that provide low-income students with the academic preparation, values and skills they need to break the cycle of poverty and lead fulfilling, productive lives.

What is the Partnership’s strategy?

As opposed to investing across the system, the Partnership’s strategy is to focus its efforts and investments selectively on inner-city Catholic schools to strengthen them academically, operationally and financially.

How was a network of Partnership schools conceived?

The Partnership network was a natural outgrowth of its strategy to invest in a smaller set of schools and it also dovetailed with the Archdiocese of New York’s Pathways to Excellence, a governance model for its elementary schools that shifts management away from parishes to regional boards.

How are the responsibilities divided and shared between the Partnership and the Archdiocese of New York?

The Partnership network is a collaborative effort between the Partnership and the Archdiocese.

The Archdiocese retains governance control of the six schools and owns the six buildings. In addition, it implements the religious curriculum at these schools.

The Partnership has broad authority to provide these schools with educational, administrative and operational services. Working together with school leadership, the Partnership is working to improve academic achievement levels by implementing extended academic day and providing broad programming. The Partnership manages all school finances, budgets and operations.

In its work with these schools, the Partnership honors the terms of the Federation of Catholic Teacher’s Union contract.

What are the goals of the Partnership network?

The Partnership network goals are two-fold:

  • Provide low-income students with the academic preparation, values and life skills they will need to be successful throughout their lives
  • Develop Catholic schools that are strong operationally and financially by maximizing enrollment, improving efficiency, rationalizing increased costs, and stabilizing revenue sources
What are the key offerings at the Partnership’s schools?

Partnership network schools will provide its students with the following key offerings, which are being introduced over time:

  • Extended academic day – an extra 1.5 hours each Monday through Thursday
  • Challenging, high achieving academic program
  • Broad programs including arts, music, sports, technology and community service
  • Robust professional staff development for principals and teachers
  • After-school, summer and weekend programs
  • High school placement
How does the Partnership measure its success?

Starting with the launch of its network in September 2013, the Partnership network will begin to measure results at its six network schools to ensure that it is delivering against its goals of academic excellence, a broad program that develops life skills and values, and operational and financial strength at these schools. The Partnership has created dashboards and metrics to gauge its progress. The Partnership’s goals for its schools and its students will be aggressive, but they will be achievable over time.

What are the key success factors for the Partnership network?
  • Relentless focus on achieving targeted results
  • A deep and capable management team at each school and in the Partnership central office that are well versed in both Catholic education and lessons emerging from high-performing urban schools across the country
  • Ongoing commitment and engagement of the Archdiocese of New York, principals, faculty, students, families and donors
How can successes in the network benefit other schools and students?

To fully leverage the value of this network, we will broadly share what we learn so that we can help other schools, both here in New York and other Archdioceses across the country. As such, we will be communicating regularly with the Archdioceses and sharing what we learn with colleagues around the country.

How did the Partnership select its six schools?

The difficult decision as to which schools to include in the network was based on a number of factors including: academics, financials, capital repairs and renovation needs, demographics, school leadership, and historical working relationships with the Partnership.

What are the demographics of students at the six schools?
  • Nearly 100% of Partnership network students receive free lunch
  • 99.4% of the students are minority
  • 65% of the students attending Partnership schools are Catholic
  • Many speak English as a second language
How does the Partnership support the Catholicity of these schools?

The Partnership is devoted to Catholic education and wants the Catholicity of these schools to be celebrated. The hallmarks of a Catholic education — its Catholic faith, values, ethics, traditions, discipline, service ethic and sense of community — continues to be central to the cultures of the six Partnership schools. In addition, the Partnership works to ensure that its students excel on religious examinations.

What is the term of the Partnership network agreement with the Archdiocese?

The 11-year agreement that grants the Partnership management control began on September 1, 2013.

What is the role of the Partnership’s board of trustees?

The 19-member Partnership board of trustees has financial, programmatic and strategic oversight for Partnership schools. It has responsibility to ensure that the network is meeting its goals and adhering to the terms of the services agreement with the Archdiocese of New York. The Partnership board of trustees includes four Archdiocesan representatives.

What is the role of the Partnership’s school-based boards?

Although the Archdiocese retains governance of the six schools, each school has its own board that helps to fundraise and execute strategic plans and school improvements. Board members have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference and personal connection at their school.

Who is responsible for capital repairs?

The Partnership has control over and responsibility for the capital repairs at the schools and expects to spend $9 million over the next three to five years to complete needed repairs and address safety concerns.

How are network schools funded?

The Partnership network relies on funds released from its endowment and donor contributions to run its network. The released endowed funds are being used for some of the early investments in new resources and capital repairs at the schools; however, the success of the network model depends on the ongoing contributions of existing donors and the cultivation of new ones.

What are the opportunities for donors?

There are many ways for donors to add value to and participate at these schools. In the Partnership’s experience, some of the most meaningful and enduring relationships are when a donor becomes personally involved with a particular school. We provide a variety of opportunities for donors to see their investments in action by visiting schools and spending time with the children who benefit from their generosity. We pride ourselves on listening to our donors’ needs and interests and work to provide our supporters with personalized ways to contribute to our network.