Friends of Choice in Urban Schools (FOCUS) promotes school reform in the District of Columbia in partnership with DC's public charter schools.
Here from the beginning
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit incorporated in the District of Columbia in 1996, FOCUS helped get DC's strong public charter school law passed and has repeatedly gotten it amended to remove barriers to successful public charter schools. Today, about 45% of all DC public school children are educated in public charter schools.
Advocacy and Communications
As the principal advocate for DC's public charter schools, FOCUS is a constant presence at city hall, educating elected officials and policy makers about the strength of the charter schools and advocating for their most important needs: equal public funding; use of surplus public school buildings; and protecting their autonomy.
FOCUS is the only organization in the District that collects, analyzes, and reports annual performance information on all public schools—charter and traditional. Our online data center is a uniquely valuable resource for everyone concerned with school quality, from the public and the media to policy makers and public charter school leaders.
FOCUS offers an array of school services, from its startup program—which provides aspiring public charter school leaders with the tools and guidance necessary for creating successful charter school applications and for opening outstanding schools—to its consulting and training programs that highlight best practices for strengthening school performance in areas such as curriculum development, labor law, and data utilization.