Thomas B. Fordham Institute Focuses on Quality
September 16, 2016 | By Christina Musinski |
As one of the nation’s leading advocates for educational excellence, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute is actively involved in promoting and improving the charter school experience. The Fordham Institute not only conducts research and analysis on education, but also charters eleven charter schools that serve 3,400 students in Ohio. Fordham’s mission is that every child deserves educational excellence, and Fordham uses data and research to help provide that.
“We are focused on increasing the number of high-quality educational options for students in Ohio,” said Theda Sampson, the Director of Applications and Contracts for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. “And by authorizing charters in Ohio, we are directly helping improve the lives of children every day.”
The Fordham Institute is known for rigorous research and publishing numerous works, including recent publications on the common core, urban education, and improving school leadership. They also work to build broad, pro-charter and pro-education reform coalitions that advocate strengthening education nationwide. And their direct work in authorizing charter schools is proof of their success.
“Epicenter is great for us and our schools,” Sampson said. “We make sure every one of our schools has someone who knows how to use Epicenter. The Ohio Department of Education also uses Epicenter, so the school documents we collect can be aligned to their requirements for monitoring and compliance.”
Sampson directs the application, contract accountability, performance and renewal process for the schools Fordham authorizes. Sampson finds that using Epicenter keeps everyone involved in the process on the same page and allows for better communication and data sharing. It also makes it easier for the individual schools to stay on track, share documents, and know when projects are due. “Epicenter makes life better for our individual schools because instead of chasing paper all day, they can focus on actually educating kids,” Sampson said.
Fordham’s schools not only provide a quality education to students throughout Ohio, but they are also award winning. The Columbus Collegiate Academy, Dayton Leadership Academy, and KIPP Columbus won 2015 Momentum Awards from the Ohio Department of Education.