HOPE Christian schools go quietly about business of teaching

Erin Richards:

It’s easy to miss the school tucked into the corner of a strip mall at N. 25th St. and W. North Ave. and its sister building a few miles away, an airy gray metal and brick structure that doesn’t have a sign yet.
The most noticeable school of the three may be at the south end of a nonprofit building on N. King Drive, and that’s because a large banner outside proclaims the high school’s name.
But within these unassuming spaces, HOPE Christian Schools are quietly expanding and changing, figuring out the best way to make sure every child – from kindergarten through 12th grade – is on the path to college.
The schools are without frills because energy and resources at this point are better spent on the elements more closely tied to student success: strong teachers who want to stay year to year, innovative and empowered administrators, testing tools that provide day-to-day and week-to-week feedback about how fast kids are progressing and which ones need more attention.
“We’re still focusing on what our model looks like,” said Andrew Neumann, president of HOPE Christian Schools.
Neumann also is president of the umbrella nonprofit Educational Enterprises, which plans to establish schools nationwide that help populations of disadvantaged, minority children get to college. The schools in Milwaukee are a testing ground; this year, Educational Enterprises opened a HOPE-inspired college prep charter elementary school in Phoenix.