Our Mission

Uncommon Schools operates outstanding urban public schools that close the opportunity gap and prepare students from low-income communities to graduate from college.

In 1997, Uncommon Schools opened the doors of our first public charter school in Newark, New Jersey. We made a promise to those first 72 students and their families—to provide an outstanding education that would prepare them to graduate from college and achieve their dreams.

For more than 20 years, we have remained dedicated to our founding mission. We are proud to operate 54 schools serving 19,000 students across Boston, Camden, New York City, Newark, and Rochester. By 2022, we will send more than 1,000 young people from economically-disadvantaged communities to college every year.

We believe that every child deserves an outstanding education, and we are committed to working beyond the walls of our schools to achieve that goal. We partner with more than 3,000 teachers and leaders from public school districts in New York and New Jersey to improve classroom instruction. Our books—including Get Better Faster: A 90-Day Plan for Coaching New Teachers and Driven by Data—and professional development workshops have helped millions of teachers around the world achieve better outcomes for their students.

Our schools are joyful and rigorous, full of love and learning, and fiercely dedicated to closing the opportunity gap and changing history.

Our Students


students in 54 schools across New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts


considered economically disadvantaged


accepted to a 4-year college since our first graduating class in 2004

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a charter school? How is Uncommon different?

View Our FAQs