Scaling Up Institute

Bigger. Better. Faster.

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Since 2000, IDEA Public Schools has grown from a small school with 150 students to the fastest-growing network of tuition-free, Pre-K-12 public charter schools in the United States. By 2022, IDEA will operate 173 schools in 13 regions educating over 100,000 students on their road to and through college. We know that we would not be where we are today without the help and support of those who came before us. Today, we pay it forward by sharing the practices that allow IDEA to achieve its ambitious goals.The Scaling Up Institute is an experiential professional development program designed to accelerate the impact of organizations committed to education reform. The six-month program convenes cohorts of 5-6 executive teams at three in-person workshops centered around an Action Learning Project (ALP) - a transformative, mission critical initiative that increases student outcomes. At IDEA, the ALP model has launched over 75 initiatives in the last 7 years, and at the Institute, executive teams will identify an Action Learning Project, develop the management skills needed to lead the initiative, and receive ongoing implementation support in the form of peer feedback and weekly coaching calls with a member of IDEA’s senior leadership team.

Scaling Up Institute Cohort

Collegiate Academies 

Benjamin Marcovitz, CEO 

New Orleans, LA

Benjamin Marcovitz is the founder of Sci Academy and the chief executive officer of Collegiate Academies. He began the design of Sci Academy in 2007 during his participation in New Schools for New Orleans’ incubation program for high-impact charter school founders. 

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Oliver Sicat, CEO

Los Angeles, CA

Oliver was named the 2006 Teacher of the Year in the Boston Public Schools. Shortly after, he moved to Chicago to help start the expansion of the Noble Network of Charter Schools and founded UIC College Prep, the #1 non­-selective high school in Chicago. 

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Friendship Public Charter School 

Patricia Brantley, CEO

Washington, D.C.

Patricia A. Brantley, the CEO of Friendship Public Charter School, is an education reformer, charter school advocate and supporter of the right of all children to receive a high-quality education.

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Green Dot Public Schools 

Chad Soleo, Interim CEO 

Los Angeles, CA

Chad Soleo serves as the Interim Chief Executive Officer at Green Dot Public Schools. He has also served as the Chief Operating Officer, Vice President of Advancement, an Area Superintendent, prior to which he was the founding principal of Ánimo Pat Brown Charter High School, and an assistant principal at Locke. 

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Alicia Johnson, President & COO and Jim Manly, Superintendent

New York, NY

Alicia Johnson is the President of KIPP NYC. She first joined KIPP NYC as the Director of Operations at KIPP Through College (KTC) in 2007 and served as the Managing Director of College Services at KTC and the Managing Director for Data and Operations before becoming the Chief Operating Officer in March 2015. 

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Jim Manly serves as Superintendent of KIPP NYC, a network of 11 public charter schools in New York committed to helping students from underserved communities succeed in college and lead choice-filled lives. Jim came to KIPP NYC in 2015 with 30 years of experience in K-12 education. 

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Phalen Leadership Academies

Earl Martin Phalen, CEO 

Indianapolis, IN

Earl Martin Phalen is a nationally recognized education leader with a track record of successful leadership and innovation. He joined the Kauffman Foundation as a Trustee in March 2016.Phalen is the founder and CEO of Summer Advantage.

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Institute Details & Eligibility

● The Institute is primarily designed to serve charter school operators looking to expand to additional sites and/or regions but welcomes nonprofit organizations and public entities working to expand opportunities for economically disadvantaged children and communities. IDEA is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and especially encourages leaders from underrepresented communities to apply.

● Participating executive teams will convene for three, 3-day workshops over the course of a six-month period. Each executive team will be assigned an IDEA senior leader as a coach and connect on a weekly basis.

● During the Institute, executive teams will:
     ○ Reflect deeply on their leadership,
     ○ Learn effective management structures and apply them to their own organization,
     ○ Launch a strategic initiative that identifies and develops long-term solutions to key
        challenges impacting the organization, and
     ○ Strengthen executive team effectiveness and cohesion.

● There is no programmatic cost; however, participating organizations are responsible for covering the
cost of and arranging travel for Institute workshops.

● CEO and executive team participation is required for the Institute and all participating leaders commit to attending all three 3-day workshops:

Workshop 1   

January 16-18, 2019 (arrive evening of the 15th) 

Austin, TX

Workshop 2 

March 26-29, 2019 (arrive evening of the 25th) 

San Antonio, TX

Workshop 3 

June 19-21, 2019 (arrive evening of the 18th) 

Weslaco, TX (Rio Grande Valley)


The 2019 application can be accessed below and must be submitted on or before October 31, 2018. Applications will be reviewed as they are received and teams will be granted admission on a rolling basis. To secure your team’s spot, early submission is strongly recommended. For further questions regarding the Scaling Up Institute, please contact .

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