Microschools have a big future

“While the learning pod movement swept across the country’s white, affluent areas during the pandemic, outrage grew as the pandemic afflicted Black communities more than any other group and academic gaps grew along racial lines,” The 74, an education-oriented publication, noted this week. “The moment became an opportunity for the Black Mothers Forum to formally launch and recruit for their own schools in January 2021.”

Based in Phoenix, Arizona, the Black Mothers Forum launched a network of microschools to “tear down barriers to academic excellence due to low expectations, and break the cycle of the school to prison pipeline” as the group’s mission statement reads. Originally partnered with Prenda, an Arizona-based company that specializes in getting microschools launched and operating, Black Mothers Forum has since converted its outlets to charter schools, which subjects them to greater regulation, but also comes with funding so that they don’t have to charge tuition. The organization’s efforts won the attention of Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R), who granted it $3.5 million to expand the network of microschools from seven to 50. Their success is reflected in similar efforts across the country.

“Micro schools are the latest schooling alternative to take off as more teachers and parents are becoming fed up with schools keeping their classrooms closed and students falling behind,” Fox Business observed earlier this month.