Which Advocacy Animal Are You?


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How would you end your perfect day?


Where is your favorite place to visit?


What would you like to do the most with your free time?

It takes all of us working together in our busy, busy towns to advocate for a high-quality education for all kids, regardless of their address. Share your town animal and the #CANnualReport with friends below.

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It’s a beautiful day in the busy, busy world of 50CAN! Let’s explore how education advocates are helping students thrive in our 2017 CANnual Report.

Letter from 50CAN leadership


Friends and advocates,

Welcome to the busy, busy world of 50CAN! From Rhode Island to Hawaii—and dozens of communities in between—our work springs from a belief in the immense potential found within every child.

In 2017, we secured 17 policy victories for students across the country, launched two new state branches, released the brand new 50CAN Guide to Building Advocacy Campaigns and welcomed hundreds of new citizen advocates into the 50CAN fam.

Together with your support, we look forward to building upon this success to chart a path forward to the education systems of the future. A future where all children, no matter their address, receive the high-quality education they deserve.

Michael Phillips Board Chair
Marc Porter Magee CEO & Founder

Network update


The 50CAN network grows every year to include new state and affiliate campaigns, training sites, regional projects and local advocates who want to join together to bring a high-quality education to all kids, regardless of their address. In 2017, we launched two new CANs in Delaware and Hawaii, welcomed three affiliates to the network, supported fellowships in three regions and helped launched YouCAN advocacy projects in 14 sites.

Policy Wins


Advocacy and policy work can often sound wonky, but it comes down to this: our local leaders craft advocacy campaigns to ensure better state and local education policies that help all children fulfill their potential. Check out the historic year we had in 2017, securing 17 policy wins together across the 50CAN network!


Ensured that the Every Student Succeeds Act planning process includes a diverse set of stakeholders and focuses on transparent and meaningful accountability for schools and education leaders. DelawareCAN worked closely with stakeholders, the Department of Education and community members to advocate for and protect strong accountability measures in the state’s ESSA plan. The team secured summative ratings for schools and will now move into supporting implementation.

Ensured the faithful implementation of the Excellent Educators for All plan and promoted the need for excellent educators in high-needs schools. DelawareCAN protected strong teacher quality policies for the state. Working with partners, the team helped prevent legislation that would have lowered the bar for teaching in Delaware by eliminating required performance assessments for incoming teachers.


Improved Georgia’s charter school environment. GeorgiaCAN and the Georgia Charter Schools Association successfully advocated for the passage of HB 430, a bill that implements the education reform commission’s recommendations for ensuring Georgia charter schools receive equitable distribution of state and federal funds and establishing an authorizer code based on the NACSA Principles and Standards for Charter School Authorizing. This bill was signed by the governor and began its implementation in the fall of 2017.


Developed a core group of high-performing Baltimore principals who advocate for greater school-level autonomy within the district. MarylandCAN successfully trained 33 Baltimore principals through the innovative Baltimore Principal Leadership Consultancy, a professional development program that provides school leaders with the tools and framework to develop advocacy campaigns in their communities. This program matches new principals with principal mentors to develop a robust bench of school-level leaders.


Protected and preserved high-quality school options by removing policy barriers and defending against problematic legislation that halts the growth of high-quality charters. Alongside several key partners, JerseyCAN pushed for a regulatory relief package that successfully moved through the State Board of Education and was passed in 2017. These policy changes included helpful changes around facilities, expedited renewals for high-performing charters and the allowance of weighted lotteries and single-purpose charters to serve the most at-risk students. JerseyCAN has also strongly defended the charter environment—including calls for a moratorium on expansion—across the state to allow for more high-quality charters to expand.

Ensured equitable funding for all public schools—traditional public schools, charter schools and all other types of public schools. JerseyCAN worked with partners and key policymakers to support more equitable funding for district and charter schools that resulted in a signed state budget protecting charter funding and some redistribution of state aid in a more equitable direction. This was an important first step in a journey toward a broader school funding fix that meets the needs of students, an issue JerseyCAN will continue to support in the coming year.


Supported the continued implementation of high standards in New York State and their linked assessments. NYCAN, with the vital help of its partners, played a defensive role working to ensure that New York State’s standards were not rolled back and state assessments stayed in place.


Established an Education Savings Accounts system for students with special needs in North Carolina. NorthCarolinaCAN partnered with Parents for Educational Freedom North Carolina to support education savings accounts for students with special needs in the state budget. The passage of SB 603, “Exceptional Education for Exceptional Children” will provide students between $9,000 and $21,000 per year and go into effect in the 2018-19 school year.

Ensured charter schools receive more equitable and timely funding. NorthCarolinaCAN championed the Equitable Charter Transportation Grant Program, which added $2.5 million in transportation grants for charter schools that primarily serve low-income students. This program was signed into the budget and began in the 2017-18 school year.

Ensured the robust implementation of the new Achievement School District. NorthCarolinaCAN executive director Marcus Brandon was appointed chair of the implementation committee for the re-named Innovation School District. In this role, Marcus helped secure $900,000 in additional funds for the program and expanded the number of eligible communities.


Ensured the best teachers remain in the classroom by enacting legislation to end “last in, first out” furlough policies. PennCAN championed HB 178, the School Code, which sought to end the “last in, first out” (LIFO) policy from practice and give districts more flexibility in personnel decisions during times of economic hardship. The governor allowed the bill to become law in 2017, securing a policy win on an issue PennCAN has been working toward since 2013.

Protected and preserved the new school funding formula and continued to support the Campaign for Fair Education Funding. PennCAN continued to defend against harmful legislation that would weaken the work of the Campaign for Fair Education Funding. The team also worked in 2017 to increase education funding for PA schools.


Ensured the state has an​ accountability system that accurately identifies student achievement gaps and is publicly accessible for all. SouthCarolinaCAN ​championed ​HB 3969 to create a unified school accountability system. The bill ensures the state will put significant weight on student achievement and growth, requires a categorical performance rating system for schools and moves up the deadline for public reporting of school report cards by three months. This bill passed the legislature​ and​ was signed by the governor in June 2017. As a result of this legislation, ​school report cards were published in the fall of 2017 for the first time in over two years.

Fostered school turnarounds and improvements driven by data at the local level. SouthCarolinaCAN helped secure legislation to ensure that the state may continue to engage in school turnaround efforts for chronically underperforming schools through public-private partnerships, nonprofit charter management organizations and direct support.


Passed legislation to support the charter school environment in Tennessee. TennesseeCAN helped pass The Tennessee High-Quality Charter Schools Act, which makes several key improvements to Tennessee’s existing charter school law including stronger authorizer oversight, increased transparency and the establishment of a public charter school facilities fund. This legislation was passed and signed into law by the governor in May 2017.

Secured legislative support for private school choice. TennesseeCAN and partners help secure a major expansion of the Individualized Education Act (IEA), which allows parents of children with disabilities to direct their child’s state education funds toward schools, courses and services of their choice. This education savings account bill passed the legislature and was signed into law by the governor in May 2017. TennesseeCAN also worked on a Memphis voucher pilot which did not pass committee and has been deferred to 2018 for further action.

Supported school turnaround options across the state. TennesseeCAN helped stop a number of bills that would have hamstrung school turnaround efforts across the state and successfully defended the state’s current law.

2017 by the numbers


Here’s a snapshot of what we achieved together in 2017.

Secured 17 policy wins for kids
Launched two new state CAN​s
Traveled 182,116 miles to meet with advocates and school communities ​around the country (that's more than 7 trips around the Earth!)
Published 14 research reports and policy briefs
Wrote 109 pages for the new 50CAN Guide to Building Advocacy Campaigns
Served 13,153,843 kids across the 50CAN network
Sent 29,491 emails from community members to legislators on education issues
Generated 1,446 media hits on education issues in the news
The 50CAN network Grew the 50CAN network to 11 states and 3 affiliate organizations
Supported 256 advocates to meet with legislators and testify at the state Capitol
Received 190 individual donations from crowdfunding campaigns
Welcomed 21 members to the YouCAN class of 2017
Hosted 89,337 visitors to the new 50can.org
Launched a strategic plan outlining the 4 big bets we’ll make over the next 5 years

50CAN network board


Our board of directors and state advisory boards are made up of dedicated volunteers who help us develop policy goals and set the vision for the future of our work. In 2017, we marked a new beginning in our board leadership, with Sandra Vargas stepping down at the end of her three-year term and Pastor Michael Phillips being unanimously voted into the role of board chair. Get to know the national and state boards across the 50CAN network:


Pastor Michael Phillips, Chair

senior pastor, Kingdom Life Church

Ann Borowiec

former CEO, JP Morgan Private Wealth Management

Campbell Brown

news partnerships lead, Facebook

Marc Porter Magee

CEO & founder, 50CAN

Roland Martin

managing editor & host, NewsOne Now

Jonathan Sackler

managing director, Kokina LLC

Dacia Toll

co-CEO & president, Achievement First

David Wick

chief external impact officer, KIPP Foundation

L. Vargas
50CAN national board of directors
Sandy served as the board chair at 50CAN for three years, transforming the organization into the growing network that it is today. Her passion and commitment to advocating for all kids, regardless of their address, has been inspiring.
The entire 50CAN network wishes Sandy a joyous and peaceful retirement.

Rod Ward, Chair

president, Corporation Services Company

Chantalle Ashford

teacher, Indian River High School

Diane Donohue

former president, Delaware State Education Association

Dr. Teri Quinn Gray

president, Delaware State Board of Education

Darryl Scott

former legislator, Delaware State House of Representatives

Alejandra Villamares

college freshman, Wesleyan University

Robert Wright

hazardous materials program manager, Bayhealth Medical Center


Joselyn Baker

founder, Butler Baker Communications

Representative Mike Dudgeon

former legislator, Georgia State House of Representatives

Erin Hames

president, ReformEd

Robert Hennessy

president, Hennessy Jaguar Land Rover Centers of Atlanta

Dwight Ho-Sang

principal, KIPP WAYS Academy

Danielle LeSure

founder, EdConnect


Jeff Arce

partner, The MacNaughton Group

Jill Baldemor

executive director, Teach For America-Hawai’i

AJ Halagao

executive vice president, HEI Charitable Foundation


Governor Tom Kean, Co-chair

former Governor of New Jersey

Ann Borowiec, Co-chair

former CEO, JP Morgan Private Wealth Management

Ray Chambers

chairman & CEO, MCJ Amelior Foundation
UN Special Envoy for Financing the Health MDGS and for Malaria

Samuel Cole

president & COO, Phigital, Inc.

Mary Farrell

director, The Maeve Foundation, Inc.

Shané Harris

vice president, The Prudential Foundation

Christine Healey

president, Healey Education Foundation

Tom Healey

managing partner, Healey Development

Susan Bass Levin

president & CEO, The Cooper Foundation

Dr. Michael Nettles

senior vice president, Educational Testing Services

Larry Rogers

treasurer, Better Education for Kids

Walter Shipley

former chairman & CEO, Chase Manhattan Bank

Josh Weston

honorary chairman, ADP, Inc.


Donald Manekin, Chair

founding member, Seawall Development Company

Kim Lee Bedford

community resource coordinator, Roland Park Elementary/ Middle School

Tom Gildee

president, Kids-R-VIPs Foundation

Alice Johnson Cain

vice president for policy, Teach Plus

Pastor Michael Phillips

senior pastor, The Kingdom Life Church

Omari Todd

senior vice president, regional operations, Teach For America

Mitchell Whiteman

portfolio manager, Brown Advisory


Pamela Blizzard, Chair

managing director, Research Triangle High

Nafeesha Irby

executive director, TFA Piedmont Triad

Rick Lawson

executive director, The Children’s Museum of Wilmington

Taylor Griffin

consultant, North Carolina

Tricia Cotham

former legislator, North Carolina State House of Representatives


Richard Constable III

senior vice president, Wyndham Worldwide

Ed Kirby

independent consultant


Mark Gleason, Chair

executive director, Philadelphia School Partnership

Adiah Ferron

counsel, Astrazeneca Pharmaceuticals LP

Tom Jones

partner, Jones Day

Brook Lenfest

CEO, Netcarrier

Marc Mannella

CEO and founder, KIPP Philadelphia Schools


Janet Ayers

president, The Ayers Foundation

John Eason

principal, Diversified Trust

Sutton Mora Hayes

EVP & COO, Community Foundation of Greater Memphis

50CAN network staff


There are all kinds of advocates in our network who help us reach our goals while upholding our core values of plussing it, optimism, relentlessness, candor and humility. Meet the 50CAN fam here:


Atnreakn Alleyne

executive director, DelawareCAN

Rachel Amankulor

deputy director, PennCAN

Amanda Aragon

executive director, NewMexicoKidsCAN

Sarah Aronson

development manager

Alissa Bernstein

executive director, Partnership for Educational Justice

Derrell Bradford

executive vice president

Charles Bufalino

director of policy & strategy, TennesseeCAN

Alexandra Cassanova

director of development

Jonathan Cetel

executive director, PennCAN

Stephanie Chapman

operations & technology manager

Eva Colen

founding executive director, Virginia Excels

Singleton Crawford

digital communications associate

Cheryl Cromwell

parent organizer, SouthCarolinaCAN

Su Cui

finance and operations associate

Christine Dinsay

executive assistant to the president

Morganne Dudzinski

director of advocacy & public affairs, JerseyCAN

Janellen Duffy

executive director, JerseyCAN

Kathryn Duval

director of external relations & national giving

Brent Easley

executive director, TennesseeCAN

Victor Evans

deputy director, TennesseeCAN

Lisa Gibes

vice president of strategy and external eelations

Rebecca Greenberg-Ellis

SVP of growth

Kathryn Hanna

development associate

Aisha Heredia

community and outreach manager, HawaiiKidsCAN

Mark Johnston

director of trainings

Jenese Jones

executive director, faith leaders for Excellent Schools

Alexander Jue

policy & research manager

Marc Porter Magee

CEO & founder

Yamuna Menon

VP of advocacy & policy

David Miyashiro

executive director, HawaiiKidsCAN

Michael O'Sullivan

executive director, GeorgiaCAN

Steven Quinn

state outreach manager, GeorgiaCAN

Shelonda Richardson

memphis field coordinatior, TennesseeCAN

Andrew Stanecki

finance manager

Edward Stanley

deputy director, NYCAN

Floyd Bradford Swann

executive director, SouthCarolinaCAN

Elizabeth Frosch Taylor

chief of staff

Christopher Tessone

chief financial officer

Vallay Varro


Daniel Walker

state outreach manager, DelawareCAN

Meheret Woldeyohannes

executive assistant to the CEO



We believe that as advocates, you never stop learning. The 50CAN network took that ethos to heart in 2017, producing 14 different research reports over the course of the year. Explore our 2017 publication library below!

50CAN Strategic PlanDelawareCAN IncluDEd reportHawaiiKidsCAN SOE
JerseyCAN STEM reportJerseyCAN Camden Enrollment 101NorthCarolinaCAN ESA report

The 50CAN Guide to Building Advocacy Campaigns

After searching far and wide, we couldn’t find a book that we could give to advocates that would teach them what they needed to know to run a campaign. So, we decided to create our own. We grounded our book in learning by doing, guiding aspiring advocates through the steps of creating a campaign with lots of blank spaces, templates and tools so that they can practice in real-time and come back to their ideas time and again. Buy your own copy of The 50CAN Guide to Building Advocacy Campaigns here:

PennCAN Opportunities Lost reportPennCAN pension benefits reportRI-CAN bill analysis (SB 142)
RI-CAN bill analysis (SB 557)SouthCarolinaCAN AAPI 1-pager
TennesseeCAN 2017 policy report cardTennesseeCAN district + school leader survey results



We believe that everyone has the potential to be a visionary leader. We aim to support advocates in taking the key steps in their journey by providing best-in-class trainings, tools and opportunities to turn plans into action with programs like the 50CAN Fellowship and YouCAN. Meet the Fellowship Class of 2017 and our 2017 YouCAN cohort below!


Amanda Aragon

New Mexico

Tish Johnson

New Jersey

Arash Kamiar


Seth Saavedra

New Mexico


LaTasha Jones Adams


Jason Allen


Melody Arabo


Steven Benson


Emmanuel Caudillo

Washington, D.C.

Ashley Dickerson


Shanté Elliot

North Carolina

Verndrey Elliot

New Jersey

Robert Goodrich


David Henrie


Medina Jackson


Marc Porter Magee


Brittany Mathis

South Carolina

Jess Miller

North Carolina

Gloria Ruiz

New Mexico

Yannell Selman


Lanell Smith, Jr.


Danielle Stewart


David Street

Washington, D.C.

Gabrielle Thomas


Candice Wilson-McCain

North Carolina

We are so grateful for the opportunity to support the visionary work of local leaders through our training programs. Click to learn more about the work of 2017 YouCAN Advocates:



The hard work of this network is made possible through the generous donations of our supporters. From small crowdfunding drives to large-scale grants, each dollar we raise goes toward advocating for children in communities across the country.


Cash and cash equivalents 1,574,079
Contributions receivable, net 1,333,970
Prepaid expenses and other assets 66,461
Deposits 23,384
Property and equipment, net 91,218

Liabilities and Net Assets

Accounts payable and accrued expenses 288,493
Long-term liabilities 23,294
Total Liabilities 311,787
Net Assets
Unrestricted 1,295,298
Temporarily Restricted 1,482,027
Total Net Assets 2,777,325

Statement of Activities
December 31, 2017


Contributions 5,876,047
In-kind contributions 133,782
Service fee and other income 103,937
Net assets released from restriction 2,099,992
Total Revenue 8,213,758
Expenses 9,180,519
Change in Net Assets (966,761)
Net Assets
Beginning of period 2,262,059
End of period 1,295,298


Contributions 1,401,915
In-kind contributions
Service fee and other income
Net assets released from restriction (2,099,992)
Total Revenue (698,077)
Change in Net Assets (698,077)
Net Assets
Beginning of period 2,180,104
End of period 1,482,027


Contributions 7,277,962
In-kind contributions 133,782
Service fee and other income 103,937
Net assets released from restriction
Total Revenue 7,515,680
Expenses 9,180,519
Change in Net Assets (1,664,838)
Net Assets
Beginning of period 4,442,163
End of period 2,777,325

2017 GIFTS


  • The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
  • Harold K.L. Castle Foundation
  • Community Foundation of New Jersey
  • Daniels Fund
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Brook J. Lenfest Foundation
  • Jim McCormick
  • Memphis Education Fund
  • The Prudential Foundation
  • Robins Foundation
  • Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock
  • Jonathan Sackler
  • The Walton Family Foundation
  • Anonymous (3)

$50,000 — $99,999

  • Laura and John Arnold Foundation
  • Arsht-Cannon Fund
  • Baltimore Community Foundation
  • Kōaniani Fund of the Hawai'i Community Foundation
  • John William Pope Foundation
  • redefinED atlanta
  • Anonymous (4)

$5,000 — $49,999

  • Barclays
  • Ann Borowiec
  • Capital One
  • The Charlesmead Foundation
  • Sam Cole
  • John and Wendy Cozzi
  • CSC
  • Joe C. Davis Foundation
  • Gary DeBode
  • Healey Education Foundation
  • Healey Family Foundation
  • HEI Charitable Foundation
  • J. R. Hyde III Family Foundation
  • F.M. Kirby Foundation
  • Daniel Loeb
  • The Maeve Foundation, Inc.
  • MCJ Amelior Foundation
  • Joseph & Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds
  • New Jersey Natural Gas Company Charity
  • PSEG Foundation
  • Sartain Lanier Family Foundation, Inc.
  • School Choice Event Services
  • The Speedwell Foundation
  • TriMix Foundation
  • Turrell Fund
  • Twin Chimney, Inc.
  • Finn and Kim Wentworth
  • Josh and Judy Weston Family Foundation
  • William E. Simon Foundation
  • William Penn Foundation
  • Anonymous (7)

$1,000 — $4,999

  • Jeff Arce
  • Patricia and Thomas Canfield
  • EdChoice
  • Penny & Kirk Gregg
  • Leadership Dallas ISD
  • Leadership for Educational Equity
  • Leadership Metro Richmond
  • Kathleen & Marc Porter Magee
  • Wayne Miyashiro
  • Bob Nigro & Lee Anne Taylor
  • North Carolina Association for Public Charter Schools
  • Adiah Ferron Reid
  • Jean and James Rion Endowment, Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina
  • Laurisa and Porter Schutt
  • Steven Tepper
  • Anonymous (11)



We’re honored to be a part of a nationwide movement to empower families and students to get involved, make change at the local level and strive to build the education systems of the future. We are proud to partner will more than 250 organizations across the country to achieve this shared vision:

  • American Federation for Children
  • America Succeeds
  • ConnCAN
  • Education Reimagined
  • Education Post
  • The Thomas B. Fordham Institute
  • Leadership for Educational Equity
  • The Memphis Lift
  • Murmuration
  • National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
  • National Association of Charter School Authorizers
  • PIE Network
  • The 74 Million
  • Black Male Educators Convening - Delaware
  • Christiana Cultural Arts Center
  • Delaware Charter School Network
  • Delaware PTA
  • Latin American Community Center
  • Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League
  • Network Delaware
  • One Village Alliance
  • Parent Advocacy Council of Education (PACE)
  • Parent Information Center of Delaware
  • Rodel Foundation of Delaware
  • Teach For America - Delaware
  • TeenSHARP
  • American Federation for Children
  • Ambitious X
  • Atlanta Families
  • Better Outcomes for Our Kids
  • College Board
  • College Prep and Connect Clinic
  • Dominion Education Consulting
  • EdConnect Now
  • Excellence in Education
  • Georgia Chamber of Commerce
  • Georgia Charter School Association
  • Georgia Center for Opportunity
  • Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education
  • Georgia Public Policy Foundation
  • Governor's Office of Student Achievement
  • KIPP Metro Atlanta
  • LEE
  • Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce
  • Mocha Moms of Cobb and Dekalb County
  • One Atlanta
  • PIE Network
  • Teach For America Metro Atlanta
  • Voices for Georgia's Children
  • Teach For America-Hawaii
  • Hope Street Group
  • HEE Coalition
  • Hawaii Public Charter School Network
  • Impact Hub Honolulu
  • Coalition for Hawaii’s Educational Equity
  • Code.org
  • Hawaii Children’s Action Network
  • Project Lead The Way
  • Computer Science Teachers Association-Hawaii Chapter
  • Hawaii State Department of Education - Computer Science Team
  • Lyla Berg and Olelo Community Media
  • Oceanit
  • Hawaii Language Roadmap Initiative
  • Harold K.L. Castle Foundation
  • Hawaii Community Foundation
  • Island Harmony
  • Pacific and Asian Affairs Council (PAAC)
  • Academy for Urban Leadership Charter High School
  • Advocates for Children of New Jersey
  • Better Education for Kids
  • BRICK Schools in Newark
  • Camden City School District
  • Catholic Partnership Schools (Camden)
  • Central Jersey College Prep Charter School
  • Community Charter School of Paterson
  • Cooper Foundation
  • Cooperman College Scholars
  • Delran Township School District
  • Democrats for Education Reform
  • Foundation Academy Charter School
  • Freedom Prep Charter School
  • Freehold Township School District
  • Future Ready Schools
  • Garden State Coalition of Schools
  • Girls Who Code
  • Golden Door Charter School
  • Great Oaks Legacy Charter School
  • Hoboken Dual Language Charter School
  • Hope Community Charter School
  • i2 Learning
  • iLearn Charter Schools
  • International Academy of Trenton
  • KIPP New Jersey
  • Lady Liberty Charter School
  • Leadership for Educational Equity
  • Lexington Institute
  • Learning Community Charter School
  • Liberty Science Center
  • M.E.T.S. Charter School
  • Marion P. Thomas Charter School
  • Mastery Charter School Network - Camden
  • Millville Public Charter School
  • New Classrooms
  • New Jersey ASCD
  • New Jersey Business and Industry Association
  • New Jersey Chamber of Commerce
  • New Jersey Charter Schools Association
  • New Jersey Computer Science Teachers Association
  • New Jersey Council of County Colleges
  • New Jersey Department of Education
  • New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development
  • New Jersey PTA
  • New Jersey School Boards Association
  • New Jersey STEM Pathways Network
  • Newark Charter School Fund
  • Newark Legacy Charter School
  • Newark Public Schools
  • NJ Principals and Supervisors Association
  • NJ Superintendents Association
  • Office of the Secretary of Higher Education
  • Pace Charter School of Hamilton
  • Parents for Great Camden Schools
  • Partnership for Educational Justice
  • Pre-K Our Way
  • Project Lead The Way
  • Queen City Academy Charter School
  • Relay Graduate School of Education
  • Robert Treat Academy Charter School
  • Teach For America
  • Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM (TIES)
  • The Kingdom Charter School of Leadership
  • Thomas Edison Energysmart Charter School
  • Uncommon Schools
  • Unity Charter School
  • University Heights Charter School
  • Vineland Public Charter School
  • Baltimore City Public Schools
  • Baltimore Community Foundation
  • Baltimore's Promise
  • Faith Leaders for Excellent Schools
  • Fund for Educational Excellence
  • KIPP Baltimore
  • Maryland Alliance of Public Charter Schools
  • Patterson Park Public Charter School
  • Right to Read Maryland
  • Strong Schools Maryland
  • Teach For America
  • American Federation for Children
  • Best NC
  • Charter USA
  • Education Alliance
  • NC Charter School Alliance
  • NC Institute of Political Leadership
  • Parents for Educational Freedom NC
  • Profound Gentlemen
  • Teach For America—Piedmont Triad
  • American Enterprise Institute
  • California Charter Schools Association
  • Colorado Charter Schools Association
  • Donnell Kaye Foundation
  • Ed Pioneers
  • Education Council
  • Leadership for Educational Equity
  • National Alliance of Public Charter Schools
  • PIE Network
  • StudentsFirstNY
  • Success Academy
  • Yale School of Management
  • A Plus Schools
  • City Charter High School
  • Propel Schools
  • Urban Academy Charter School of Greater Pittsburgh
  • Manchester Academic Charter School
  • Spectrum Charter School
  • Environmental Charter School
  • Philadelphia School Advocacy Partners
  • Philadelphia School Partnership
  • Achievement First
  • Blackstone Valley Prep
  • League of Charter Schools
  • Office of Innovation, Rhode Island Department of Education
  • Providence Public School District
  • Rhode Island Mayoral Academies
  • Foundation for Excellence in Education
  • Palmetto Promise
  • Public Charter School Alliance of South Carolina
  • Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative
  • TN Federation for Children
  • Tennesseans for Student Success
  • TN Charter Center
  • Campaign for School Equity
  • Stand for Children
  • LEE

Stories #fromthefield


From the First State to the Fiftieth! Launching DelawareCAN & HawaiiKidsCAN

In 2017, 50CAN launched education advocacy campaigns in both Delaware and Hawaii, borne out of the 50CAN fellowship the year before. After local leaders Atnre Alleyne and David Miyashiro embarked on listening tours throughout their home states, they each launched CANs alongside community members committed to making the future as bright as possible for kids. As part of their launches, Delaware and Hawaii released reports to shine a light on where we are right now in the states, and where we can go together. Read IncluDEd and the Hawaii State of Education and explore photos from the opening events!


GeorgiaCAN’s Powerful Pizza Parties

In 2017, the GeorgiaCAN team took over local pizza parlors throughout the Peach State to connect parents together, understand local education needs, train with professionals on tools for student success and enjoy a slice. Over the course of 32 meetings, Georgia parents tackled issues on school choice, accessibility to college prep and school funding. Hear from Danielle Stewart, a GeorgiaCAN member who worked to develop programming for families.


JerseyCAN and the STEM System in the Garden State

More than 2,000 miles from Silicon Valley, the original center for innovation and scientific progress was born along the Eastern seaboard. New Jersey was home to Thomas Edison and his pioneering lightbulb and Bell Labs’ transistor. Yet today, a growing skills gap exists between students interested and prepared for the growing STEM job sector. In 2017, JerseyCAN decided to explore the conversation around excellence and equity using STEM education as the framework. Encouraged by the many pockets of innovation and the pioneer leaders who are working on behalf of students, JerseyCAN published Preparing the Children of Today for the Jobs of Tomorrow. Read on to discover the progress the Garden State has made and the work that lies ahead.


Maryland’s Faith Leadership

50CAN had an exciting opportunity in 2017 to support the faith community of Baltimore as they built a new advocacy group to put children first. 50CAN board chair Pastor Michael Phillips partnered with service and faith leaders in the area to eradicate educational inequity in Baltimore through school partnerships with faith-based entities, organizing and policy reform to ensure that all students achieve excellent outcomes. Follow along with the work of FLES and explore the photos from their launch event with former U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. John King.


NorthCarolinaCAN’s $2.5 Million Bus Fare

2017 was a historic year for NorthCarolinaCAN’s advocacy work at the Capitol. The team played a significant role in championing the Equitable Charter Transportation Grant Program, securing its passage and adding $2.5 million in transportation grants for charter schools that primarily serve low-income students. This program was signed into the summer budget and kicked off in the fall 2017 school year. Read more about campaign progress in the Tar Heel State here.


NYCAN Talks Politics and Partisanship in Three-Part Series

Long after Inauguration Day, politics and partisanship was part of the national conversation around education policy. NYCAN’s Derrell Bradford spoke at the Yale School of Management’s Education Leadership Conference in April 2017 to explore these themes and put forth a plan to bridge divides and focus on kids. The lecture was turned into a series of essays with media partner The 74 Million in the summer. Explore the full series here: Part I, Part II, Part III


PennCAN’s Pittsburgh Promise to Parents

We know that a high-quality education is one of the most important things we can give to children. But finding the right school for every individual child can be stressful. The team at PennCAN has been working to solve this problem in Pittsburgh, hosting their third annual School Choice Fair in 2017. Bringing together representatives from Pittsburgh Public Schools, public charter schools and private schools all in one place, parents had the chance to speak directly to school leaders, teachers and other parents to find the best option for their children. Explore photos from the event and mark your calendar for the next event in the Steel City!


RI-CAN’s Resource for Educators

Personalized learning is all about educational experiences that are more relevant, flexible and based on student needs. After piloting a teacher development program on personalized learning in 2016, Rhode Island teachers worked together to develop RI-CAN’s Call to Action for Personalized Learning. Explore the facts and figures of personalized learning in Lil’ Rhody, and how this path forward to students opens up a world of possibilities in the classroom and beyond.


SouthCarolinaCAN’s Charleston Focus

The Charleston County School District is composed of over 80 schools serving children from diverse backgrounds. Like nearly all school districts, Charleston has high-performing schools and low-performing schools. But in Charleston, a student’s race plays an outsized role in whether they attend a great school or a failing one. In 2017, parents from Charleston County joined together through Charleston RISE, a grassroots movement to bring parents the tools they need to advocate for better schools on behalf of their children. Hear more from the SouthCarolinaCAN team about the RISE fellowship here:


The Volunteer State honors their nickname at TennesseeCAN event

The Volunteer State was the site of the 50CAN network’s CAN Summit in 2017, bringing together education advocates, investors, board members and community leaders for two days of field work and learning in Memphis. The network was thrilled to honor the TennesseeCAN volunteers who have been working on behalf of students across the state with the Root Award, delivered at the keynote dinner at the National Civil Rights Museum. Thank you, Shaundraya Hersey, Phyllis Hulbert, William Glaze and Sabrina and Marius Scott for all your hours spent working to bring a high-quality education to all kids, regardless of their address!

See you soon!


At the end of our busy, busy year, we are as excited as ever for the journey ahead. Join us on the web at 50CAN.org, on Twitter and Instagram @FiftyCAN and on Facebook @50CAN for a look at what we have planned for 2018 and beyond.

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