All students have the ability to learn and achieve. Poverty impacts kids, certainly, but it doesn't have to define them.

That’s the core belief of our education work.


Every child in Detroit deserves to go to a great school. And they shouldn’t have to travel far to get there. Each neighborhood should have excellent schools options. The type of governance – private, public, or charter – is not important if the school delivers quality.

Our vision for what that looks like comes down to what we call the Three Pillars of Quality. Great schools have:

  • Excellent math and reading instruction
  • A school culture that values what students have to say and helps them personalize learning
  • Strong connections to the surrounding community

In our education work, we take those beliefs and put them into practice. Through our grant-making, we invest in Detroit education with four things in mind:

  • We want to take good schools here now and make them great. This means helping administrators, teachers, and parents understand what quality looks like and how to get there. It means we help schools committed to our three pillars of quality collaborate and share learning. And we talk with other across the nation who have things to teach us.
  • We want parents and students to feel empowered to make choices that work for them. This means we work to help parents understand the best ways to support student learning. We help school leaders and teachers remove barriers that prevent parents from being true partners in their students’ success. And we, alongside our neighborhood leaders, support efforts to increase school choice and anything that helps parents advocate for better options.
  • We want to increase the reach of quality schools by fueling innovations that open new schools or replicating those that get results. We work to plan for long range investments that will bring great schools to the neighborhoods where we work. We help those schools get off the ground, whether it’s through funding, technical assistance or helping them build community connections.
  • We want to build an ecosystem of organizations that works to improve outcomes for all Detroit kids. This means we will work toward a better leadership and talent pipeline into the city’s schools. We will raise the standards of academic excellence through accountability. We will increase collaborations between districts for kids’ benefit. And we will advocate for policies that support high-quality schools.