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The Eagle Academy Foundation Announces Major Gift from Robert F. Smith, Powered by Goalsetter App Technology

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The Eagle Academy Foundation Announces Major Gift from Robert F. Smith, Powered by Goalsetter App Technology Smith to donate stock shares in five portfolio companies to students, teachers, and staff members of Eagle Academy schools, in partnership with Goalsetter app technology

New York, NY – October 25, 2021 – The Eagle Academy Foundation, a network of public all-male college preparatory schools serving young men of color throughout New York City and Newark, N.J., today announced a major gift from Robert F. Smith, donated in partnership with the Morehouse College Class of 2019. Together, Smith and Morehouse’s Class of 2019 are giving nearly 15,000 shares of stock in Vista Equity Partners’ publicly traded portfolio companies to each of the approximately 2,900 students, teachers, and staff members of the Eagle Academies for Young Men. Through this gift, these young men and educators will receive stock shares in Jamf (NASDAQ: JAMF), Datto (NYSE: MSP), Ping (NYSE: PING), Integral Ad Science Holding Corp (NASDAQ: IAS), and PowerSchool (NYSE: PWSC) five software companies in the Vista family, with the hope that this gift will arm them with the knowledge and resources to become lifelong investors, owning their financial futures.

This gift will be powered by Goalsetter app technology, the Black female-owned family investing and saving app that provides parents with tools to teach their children financial literacy. Goalsetter’s platform will both host the shares of stock gifted to members of The Eagle Academy Foundation as well as provide every young man who receives stock with game-based, culturally relevant financial education, rooted in memes and gifs from popular culture. Through this continuing education, these young men will not only enjoy the benefits of owning stock but will also receive the education needed to become lifelong investors.

“For far too long, Black Americans have been prevented from accessing resources to build lasting, generational wealth. With this history in mind, the Morehouse Class of 2019 and I are proud to gift these stock shares to the young men of Eagle Academy. From a young age, my parents and community instilled in me the value of saving, and throughout my life I’ve learned that your financial success is not determined by what you buy, but by what you own. I hope this opportunity not only inspires these young students to explore the world of investments, but that it also serves as a catalyst for other companies to join this initiative to arm our youth with the power to control their futures,” said Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners.

“By providing Black and Brown students with financial education and resources, we let them dictate their futures and allow them to embrace the many possibilities of who they can be, free from unnecessary financial burdens,” said David C. Banks, President and CEO of The Eagle Academy Foundation. “We must see further investment and partnerships between the private sector and our schools to prepare our students for their futures. This initiative should set the precedent for companies looking to invest in Black and Brown youth and eradicate the racial wealth gap in this country. “

“We are proud to partner with The Eagle Academy Foundation and to provide a platform that will scale and achieve Robert F. Smith’s vision of financial literacy among young students of color,” said Goalsetter CEO Tanya Van Court. “By creating this scalable infrastructure to teach and support students as they learn and grow their financial portfolios, we look forward to continuing this partnership and seeing others join this cause. Together, we can change the course of history for all communities that have been marginalized due to their lack of access to financial education and opportunities.”

About The Eagle Academy Foundation

The Eagle Academy Foundation is a non-profit organization that developed and supports the Eagle Academy schools—an innovative network of six all-male, college-preparatory schools serving 3,000 students in challenged urban communities in all five boroughs of New York City and Newark, New Jersey. The Foundation is led by its President and CEO, David C. Banks, who was the Founding Principal of The Eagle Academy for Young Men, the first school in the Foundation’s network. For more information, visit eafny.org and follow The Eagle Academy Foundation on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn

About Goalsetter

Founded in 2016 by Tanya Van Court, a former Nickelodeon and ESPN executive, Goalsetter is a family saving, investing, financial education, and smart spending app that makes it easy for the whole family to go cashless while teaching them how to be money smart. Goalsetter’s smart money app for families provides users with an FDIC-Insured Savings Account; an investment platform powered by Goalsetter Advisors, LLC (an SEC-registered investment advisor); the Mastercard Cashola Teen and Tween Debit Card with parental controls, Game-based financial education quizzes; the “Learn before you Burn” parental control feature on the debit card and the “Learn to Earn” financial reward program; as well as the latest cybersecurity features to protect user privacy. For more about Goalsetter visit www.goalsetter.co.

First Black Woman to Run N.Y.C. Schools Faces Huge Task: Full Reopening

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Meisha Porter, a longtime Bronx educator whom Mayor Bill de Blasio named on Friday as his choice to replace Richard A. Carranza as schools chancellor, began her path to the chancellorship as a teenage activist who caught the attention of a group of urban planners in the South Bronx in the early 1990s.

Ms. Porter, who will be the first Black woman to lead the nation’s largest school system, was a youth organizer in the Highbridge neighborhood, and Richard Kahan, who was coordinating the planning for a 300-block area of the community, invited her to a meeting with local leaders at the Bronx borough president’s office.

NYC Schools Get First Black Female Chancellor as Carranza Abruptly Resigns During Ongoing COVID Crisis

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Bronx parent Farah Despeignes awoke to what she considered good news Friday, 11 months into a painful pandemic that brought not only trauma and loss, but also a series of missteps over reopening New York City’s schools.

Bronx Executive Superintendent Meisha Ross Porter, whom Despeignes had worked with in her role as president of the borough’s District 8 Community Education Council, would replace Richard Carranza, who had abruptly resigned as New York City schools chancellor, effective March 15.

The new appointment gave Despeignes some hope, even amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, which has left about 70 percent of city students still learning remotely, including her own two children.

Racial Gap in Degree Attainment

Report reveals NYC racial gap in degree attainment

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A new study outlines the size of the education gap between Black and Hispanic people when compared to white people.

The Center for an Urban Future (CUF) report, titled “Building An Inclusive Economy In NYC: Boosting College Attainment,” revealed that 27% of Black and 20% of Hispanic New Yorkers have attained a bachelor’s degree while the city’s Asian and white population have attained at least a bachelor’s degree at 45% and 64% respectfully.

According to CUF’s analysis of the 2018 American Community Survey for 5-year estimates, when broken down by neighborhood, ones located in Brooklyn and the Bronx have the lowest rates of residents with a bachelor’s degree or more. In East New York/Starett City, 15.5% of its residents have a bachelor’s degree whereas in the Hunts Points/Melrose/Longwood area, only 12.2% of its residents have a bachelor’s degree.

In the Midtown East/Murray Hill/Gramercy/Stuyvesant Town area, 87.1% of residents have at least a bachelor’s degree.

Even within a neighborhood, there’s a stark difference racially. Hispanics in Jackson Heights, Queens have a bachelor’s degree at an 11.1% clip whereas 57.8% of the neighborhood’s white residents have one. In East Harlem, the number is 74.9% for white residents, 26.9% for Black residents and 19% for Hispanic residents.

Despite New York City being a haven for many college-educated residents, the numbers show which New Yorkers are benefitting from that attitude.

Zakiyah Ansari of the Alliance for Quality Education (AQE) told the AmNews that the fact that the Bronx and Brooklyn having largest disparities of degree attainment isn’t a coincidence.

“New York State has underfunded K-12 education for years, the latest being a $700 million cut to New York City public schools in the midst of a pandemic,” said Ansari. “Let’s be clear: these numbers are a reflection of the lack of investment in Black and Brown communities, not an inability to learn.

“We need the next mayor and City Council to use their bully pulpit to fight for equity and racial justice,” said Ansari.

When the AmNews contacted the city’s Department of Education (DOE), a spokesperson praised their current graduation rate and college enrollment.

“In tandem with our increasing graduation rates, we’re seeing more students than ever go on to college and postsecondary education,” read the statement.”

According to the DOE, the city’s school system currently has “the highest-ever college readiness rate” with 57.7% of all students and 72.5% of graduates of the high school Class of 2020 graduating on time and meeting the City University of New York’s standards for college readiness in English and math.

DOE’s spokesperson also touted a postsecondary enrollment rate of 63% with 48,968 students in the Class of 2019 going on to attending a two- or four-year college, vocational program, or public service program after graduation.

The CUF report paints a different picture when it comes to definitions of success. In 16 city neighborhoods, fewer than 25% of Black residents have a bachelor’s degree. Neighborhoods in the most gentrifying areas saw a significant expansion in the racial achievement gap.

In Brownsville/Ocean Hill in Brooklyn, white residents with a bachelor’s degree climbed to 42.7%. While Black and Hispanic residents stood at 16% and 12.2% respectively. In Concourse/Highbridge/Mount Eden in the Bronx, white residents with a bachelor’s degree stand at 46.2% 46.2% with Black residents (22.9%) and Hispanic residents (13.7%) trailing behind them.

When asked if he was surprised by the result of his study, CUF Executive Director Jonathan Bowles said he wasn’t surprised by the disparity, but he was surprised with how big the gap is.

“We anticipated racial gaps in college attainment, but were surprised at the extent of the disparities––and how much more progress is needed,” Bowles to the AmNews. “At a time when the lion’s share of the well-paying jobs are going to individuals with a college credential, it was alarming that in 8 of the city’s 55 Census-defined neighborhoods fewer than 18% of working-age residents hold at least a bachelor’s degree.

“It is distressing that in 39 of the city’s 55 neighborhoods, less than one-quarter of working-age Hispanic residents hold a bachelor’s or higher level of educational attainment––and that in 16 neighborhoods, fewer than 25% of working-age Black residents have a bachelor’s degree,” said Bowles.

Nina Worley of Teens Take Charge presented one way to improve school to improve the lot of Black and Brown kids in the public school system.

“The Summer Youth Employment Program connects NYC youth with paid career exploration opportunities during the summer,” said Worley in an email to the AmNews. “However, the number of spots for this program are limited and last year, 76,000 students were turned away due to lack of space. If the city were to increase funding and guarantee a paid summer internship to every student interested, it would help reduce the gaps in work-based learning for NY youth.”

Meryle Weinstein, Ph.D., a research professor of education policy at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, told the AmNews that students making their way to CUNY’s doesn’t mean the job is done.

“I think the biggest issue for kids who graduate high school is once they go to college, there is not enough support to pay for college to live,” Weinstein said. “If you’re going away, going to college is your job. As for the kids who stay in the city, college isn’t their main job. It’s hard for kids to finish. If there was more funding to support kids to get through college so they didn’t have to work, that would be good.”

Some of these changes in the bachelor’s achievement gap can be thrown back to the debate over specialized high schools and keeping the exam as the sole criterion for getting in. In the early 1980s, more than half of Brooklyn Tech was Black (51% in 1982). In 2016, the population had dropped to 6%. David Banks, president of the Eagle Academy Foundation, told the AmNews that he thinks Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza is ready to make a move, but is being handcuffed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. He also said that he’s had enough of the talk surrounding the racial disparities and wants something done about it.

“Frankly, I’m tired and a little overwhelmed,” said Banks to the AmNews. “I wonder if some of these people are looking at these reports and saying that the system is working as designed. The report is talking about the lack of representation at the college level and how it plays out in apprenticeships, programs and job training. None of that is new. We hear the same ideas over the last 30 and 40 years when what we’re missing is leadership…how to re-craft the school system for maximum impact where everybody can win.”

“(Black) people haven’t gotten less smart,” said Banks. “The system has been gamed.”

New York City Mayoral candidates share their plans on improving city public schools

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Close to 1,500 parents, educators and community members registered to attend a virtual forum on Sunday with some of NYC’s 2021 mayoral candidates. They wanted to voice their concerns about accessible online learning, educational racial equity, high-risk standardized testing and funding. 

According to Maya Wiley – one of the candidates – the meeting was so important that day because the NYC public schooling system “wasn’t working before COVID, and isn’t working during COVID,” and that it was important for New York students to “not only catch up, but to exceed expectation.”

NYC mayoral candidates talk education in forum

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Candidates for New York City’s 2021 mayoral elections took questions from educators Tuesday evening in a forum organized by The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators.

“Our voices are trusted voices in the community,” explained CSA President Mark Cannizzaro. He explained many educators “are really concerned going into next year with a deficit.”

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