BOSTON, MA (February 26, 2013) – Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, along with Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, announced a new collaboration between their two agencies: School Turnaround AmeriCorps.

The competitive, three-year grant program is designed to strengthen and accelerate interventions in our nation’s lowest-performing schools by leveraging the power of AmeriCorps members. These members will help students, teachers and principals transform struggling schools by providing opportunities for academic enrichment, extended learning time and individual supports for students.

Michael Brown, CEO and Co-Founder of City Year, a national, education-focused organization that deploys diverse teams of young adults to dedicate a year to full-time service in high-need schools, issued this statement today in support of the effort:

"We applaud Secretary Arne Duncan and the U.S. Department of Education, and Wendy Spencer, the CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, for establishing School Turnaround AmeriCorps. This creative partnership will use national service to power critically needed school-based investments that research has shown are vital to turning around low performing schools.

“AmeriCorps members can be a game changing resource for high-need schools, providing the extra people power to drive evidence-based practices that work. They can tutor off-track students, drive attendance initiatives to keep struggling students in school, extend the learning day through after school tutoring, and run data-driven early warning systems to identify students most at risk of dropping out. 

“This initiative will strategically deploy national service members in order to provide the right resources to the right students at the right time, putting them on a path to graduation and life success.”

Today, City Year and the Everyone Graduates Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education released a report, with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, entitled “Overcoming the Poverty Challenge to Enable College and Career Readiness for All.” The report makes the case for the strategic deployment of community volunteers and full-time national service members to provide evidence-based student supports. The new School Turnaround AmeriCorps initiative is exactly the kind of initiative called for in this report. The full report can be found here.


About City Year: City Year is an education-focused, nonprofit organization founded in 1988 that partners with public schools to provide full-time targeted intervention for students most at risk of dropping out.  In more than 20 communities across the United States and through two international affiliates, our teams of young AmeriCorps leaders support students by focusing on attendance, behavior, and course performance through in-class tutoring, mentoring, and after school programs that keep kids in school and on track to graduate.