In 2004, the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation was approved by the Ohio Department of Education to serve as a sponsor of community schools- making us the first nonprofit organization in the Buckeye State to acquire such a responsibility. For over a decade we have sought to improve school choices for needy families, provide individual grants to support the creation and improvement of charter schools, and support district wide school reforms in and around our hometown of Dayton, Ohio.
Fordham also publishes and supports research on many different aspects of K-12 education both in the state of Ohio and across the nation. Additionally, Fordham staff and board members remain involved in organizations that support and develop quality schools. Through sponsorship, we take our policy work, research findings, and expertise, and apply them in practice so that students may benefit.
We approach charter school sponsorship the way we've approached all of our endeavors nationally and in Ohio: dedicated to accountability, transparency, and responsiveness. As a sponsor, we believe that in exchange for the freedom to teach and operate independently, schools are responsible for producing results (accountability) and providing information about their activities to those who seek it (transparency). These are the keys necessary to ensuring that every student who comes to our schools makes the grade.
In 2015, our sponsorship operation underwent a comprehensive evaluation by the Ohio Department of Education. We were awarded a rating of "Exemplary" based on our work in three areas: Quality Practices, Student Academic Outcomes, and Compliance. Additional detail on our rating is available here.
Fordham's Sponsorship Annual Report for 2013-14 is available here.
Fordham Application for Sponsorship is Now Available
We are currently seeking to add new schools to our portfolio. Individuals or organizations with the capacity to start and sustain academically high performing schools in underserved communities are encouraged to apply. We also welcome applications from existing Ohio schools seeking a new authorizer. To learn more about the application process please visit our sponsorship application page.