When we began this study, the world looked different than it does today. The coronavirus had not swept across the globe, and the national economy was strong. Remote learning was something few students took part in,and protests against racism and police brutality had not yet forced a national reckoning on issues of race and equity. Since the fall of 2019, much has changed. Despite these changes, our study remains as important, if not more important today than when we began. Our goal in this report is to identify those cities where historically underperforming students are most likely to “beat the odds” on end-of-year state tests. While there will be no end-of-year tests in 2020, the odds have likely only grown longer for students who are poor, Black, or Latino. In our core study – which updates earlier work by the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington – wefind that the cities of Newark, Boston, and Pittsburgh have the highest share of students enrolled in schools that beat the odds. In Newark, 35% of students attended a beat-the-odds school,with a large and high-performing charter sector driving the strong results.

Newark Leads the Nation in
Beat the Odds Public Schools

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