About / Our Mission & History

Our Mission & History


Friends of Education's mission is to improve the education of children.  Improving K-12 education since 1999, Friends supports programs which emphasize content and critical thinking with demonstrated evidence of increasing student achievement and post-secondary readiness.

History and Overview:

Friends of Education started in 1999, under the name “Saving Children Through Education.”  The initial focus of Saving Children Through Education was an under-performing grade school in North Minneapolis.  Saving Children Through Education assisted this school, Ascension Grade School, in implementing the Core-Knowledge Sequence developed by E.D. Hirsch, Jr., and the Core Knowledge Foundation, as well as the math program developed by Saxon.  In just one year, Ascension improved its proficiency rate from 21% on the Minnesota mathematics standardized achievement test, to 80% on both the Minnesota Standardized math and reading assessments tests.  Saving Children Through Education’s involvement with Ascension grade school resulted in changing the organization’s name to “Friends of Ascension”.

After the undeniable success of Ascension grade school, Friends of Ascension decided to expand its reach, while maintaining its stated mission to improve the education of children and authorize quality charter schools.  Friends of Education's mission directs all of its activities:  its Charter School Mission is to improve the education of children through quality authorization of charter schools.  Due to the tremendous success achieved at Ascension Grade School with the Core Knowledge Sequence and Saxon Math, along with the extensive research supporting these methods, Friends of Education authorizes only those charter schools which implement a content-rich curriculum.  Friends of Education also requires that its authorized schools implement a phonics-based reading program rich in literature as well as a sequential math curriculum typified by the Saxon and Singapore math programs.

In 2009, Friends of Ascension changed its name to “Friends of Education” to reflect Friends’ broad-based interest in improving the education of children.  Friends of Education is not a religious organization, nor does it promote any religious activity or teaching.

Friends of Education is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Minnesota corporation, incorporated in 1999.  Friends of Education is a member of the Minnesota Council of Non-profits and is registered with the Minnesota Office of the Attorney General.