Democracy Prep set out to prove what is possible for public education in America. Founded in 2005 and opening our first school in 2006, we are set to start the 2015 school year with seventeen schools and one program delivering transformational results to 5,040 scholars this year.
Mission and History
undefinedDemocracy Prep Charter School first opened its doors in August 2006. By 2009, DPCS became the highest performing school in Central Harlem and was ranked the number one public middle school in New York City.
Democracy Prep Public Schools currently operates seventeen high-performing schools and one program in New York, New Jersey, The District of Columbia, and Baton Rouge serving 5,040 citizen-scholars. The incredible success of the scholars is possible through the tireless and dedicated work of the educators who make up our DREAM Team.
By proving that students - regardless of what zip code they are born into - can perform at high academic levels, we seek to transform not only the lives of the students at Democracy Prep but also the expectation of what public schools can achieve.
At Democracy Prep we believe teaching matters most.
And we are all teachers. We don't just say it; we prove it. In order to attract the best and keep them in the classroom, we provide an unparalleled compensation system.
HOW WE SHOW OUR TEACHERS THAT THEY MATTER MOST
Hard Work = Success
Teachers are eligible for base salary raises of up to 10% each year based on their students’ growth and performance. Top performing teachers can earn up to $150,000 after just eight years at Democracy Prep.
Outfitted as Professionals
All teachers are provided iPhones and MacBook Pros to plan lessons, collaborate with peers, and make themselves available to students and families.
A 21st-Century Smart Approach to Benefits
All teachers are provided health, dental, vision, and life insurance and can contribute to a 403-b retirement plan that is flexible, portable, and generously matched by Democracy Prep.*
Weekly Professional Development
Each Friday, students leave the building at 1pm and teachers spend the rest of the day in professional development sessions. In addition to grade level and content area meetings, teachers are coached on how to use student data effectively to drive instruction. Throughout the year, Democracy Prep sends its teachers to external professional development workshops and to other high-performing schools to learn and share best practices.
Our teachers know that they were rigorously selected as the top 1% of applicants.
*New Jersey Charter School full-time employees are mandated to participate in local retirement plans.
Democracy Prep is in a period of exceptional growth. For successful expansion, we need a strong pipeline of leaders to take us there. By 2018, Democracy Prep will have as many as 25 schools in multiple regions, such as New Jersey, Washington D.C., and Louisiana. Leader U is Democracy Prep’s pioneering school leadership training program. Democracy Prep offers one and two-year Leader U programs to cultivate talent from multiple points of entry in order to develop the best leaders for current, new, and turnaround Democracy Prep schools. Leader U is preparing individuals with a passion for education to help drive Democracy Prep in its mission to educate citizen-scholars across the nation to success at the college of their choice and a life of active citizenship.
Leader U is a dynamic program that develops a diverse range of leaders for the ultimate goal of campus leadership. Leader U offers one and two-year programs to cultivate talent from multiple points of entry in order to develop the best leaders for current, new, and turnaround Democracy Prep schools. The two-year Leader U program will start with the Leader U Residency followed by the Leader U Fellowship in year two, and in the one-year program, applicants start immediately with the Fellowship. To learn more about our programs, visit www.Leader-U.org.
Our citizen-scholars are prepared with the explicit knowledge, skills, and dispositions to take leadership roles in civil society and democratic institutions upon graduation from college.
Democracy Prep Public Schools was founded with the explicit vision of preparing our responsible citizen-scholars for success in the college of their choice and a life of active citizenship. We accomplish this public purpose by focusing on what we call Authentic Civic Education.
Each Democracy Prep school has a civic education coordinator that works to create and implement our civics curriculum for each campus and track our citizen-scholars’ long term civic dispositions. Knowledge and skills alone are not sufficient, we must cultivate the habits and appetites of engaged citizens in order to prepare our alumni for a life of active citizenship.
The American Enterprise Institute recently identified Democracy Prep as one of the nation’s leaders in civic education. They published a policy paper entitled “Charter Schools As Nation Builders: Democracy Prep And Civic Education” which highlights our focus on both abstract citizenship and operational citizenship. Click here to read the policy paper.
Our citizen-scholars first learn the civic content knowledge they need to understand our system of government. We then provide authentic opportunities to engage in the applied civic skills we’ve identified as essential to become an engaged citizen. These skills include oral testimony in front of a public body, lobbying, and campaign work among others.
We provide our scholars with opportunities each year to travel to City Hall, Albany and Washington D.C. to lobby our elected officials on issues ranging from charter school funding to the DREAM Act. Scholars have registered thousands of New York City residents to vote and conducted Get-Out-The-Vote campaigns for local and national elections. Our scholars have even testified before Congress!
Educating all Students, in all Subjects
We actively recruit students who are the least well served by traditional public schools as well as other high-performing charter operators, including English language learners and special education students. Our special education students and English language learners are provided the same transformational education and support that all our students are provided with, including all elective offerings.
In addition, just like a traditional public school and unlike many charters, we welcome new scholars at all grade levels at the beginning of each year. This provides students previously left behind by low expectations with the opportunity to embark on the path to college and civic success whenever there is an available seat at Democracy Prep.
Welcome to Democracy Prep Public Schools, a network of open-enrollment, high-performing, "no excuses" public charter schools operating in New York City, Camden, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, and Baton Rouge, LA. The mission of Democracy Prep is to educate responsible citizen-scholars for success in the college of their choice and a life of active citizenship. A simple philosophy guides Democracy Prep staff, scholars and alumni, alike: Work Hard. Go to College. Change the World!
Mission: The mission of Democracy Prep Public Schools is to educate responsible citizen-scholars for success in the college of their choice and a life of active citizenship. – less