Non-profit

50CAN

Website:

50can.org

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

27-3069592

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $10,127,796
Expenses: $8,241,014
Assets: $4,629,629

50CAN (Coalition for Achievement Now) is a Washington, D.C.-based education advocacy group.  In 2016, 50CAN merged with Students First, an education advocacy group formed by former chancellor of D.C. Public Schools Michelle Rhee. [1]

50CAN has affiliate chapters in eight states: Connecticut (ConnCAN), Minnesota (MinnCAN), Maryland (MarylandCAN), New York (NYCAN), Pennsylvania (PennCAN), Rhode Island (RI-CAN), North Carolina (CarolinaCAN), and New Jersey (JerseyCAN).

Marc Porter Magee, a career activist for a number of center-left organizations, is the founder of 50CAN and currently serves as the chief executive officer. [2]

History

ConnCAN (Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now), the first chapter of 50CAN, was formed in 2005 as to combat Connecticut’s high achievement gap between white and affluent students and low-income, black, and Hispanic children. [3]

In 2009, ConnCan launched the legislative campaign “Mind the Gap” which focused on closing the achievement gap. This campaign focused primarily on three broad issues: increased funding for charter schools, increasing teacher quality, and education transparency. [4]

In 2010, ConnCAN pressured state legislators in Connecticut to support Connecticut’s participation in the Race to the Top program. Race to the Top was a federally funded competition by the Obama administration to encourage school districts to reach certain milestones such as teacher evaluations based on student achievements and adopting curriculum standards similar to Common Core. [5][6]

In January 2011, 50CAN was officially launched. RI-CAN, MinnCAN, and ConnCAN officially became chapters during this first year. MarylandCAN, NYCAN, and PennCAN followed in 2012. JerseyCAN and CarolinaCAN followed in 2013.

In 2016, 50CAN merged with Students First, an education advocacy group formed by Michelle Rhee, former chancellor of DC public schools and vocal supporter of school choice programs and teacher tenure reform. [7]

In 2016, GeorgiaCAN, South CarolinaCAN, and TennesseeCAN were established as local chapters of 50CAN. Delaware later followed in 2017. New Mexico Kids CAN and Hawaii Kids CAN joined in 2018. [8]

Programs

YouCAN

YouCAN is a project of 50CAN that seeks to provide activism training for those who typically aren’t associated with activism. Through a part-time program, participants establish an effort that they want to see in their communities and work towards expanding this within their organization or launching their own organization for the purpose of completing the effort. Alumni of this program range from teachers, school administrators, administrators, policy researchers, and community members. The program is part-time and requires participants to “develop, refine, and launch an advocacy project that compliments that compliments the overall advocacy efforts in their states.” [9]

According to 50CAN’s website, the most recent graduating class of YouCAN alumni was in 2017. [10]

50CAN Education Advocacy Fellowship

50CAN Education Advocacy Fellowship is a yearlong program that provides activism and leadership training for those interested in education reform. Alumni of the fellowship range from teachers launching an after-school program, administrating working to raise test scores, or researchers working to place their research into certain activism projects that align with 50CAN’s mission. Graduates of the fellowship program are responsible for using the information that they obtained during their time in the fellowship and taking a position of leadership within an advocacy organization or launching their own organization or cause that is in line with the mission of 50CAN. [11]

One of the most notable alumni of the fellowship is Hawaii State Representative Takashi Ohno (D-Honolulu). [12]

 Trainings and CANsulting

50CAN provides a host of additional services at cost to state level policy think tanks, community organizations, and small groups.

50CAN offers two training courses: Education Policy 101 and Advocacy 101. Education Policy 101 focuses on policy issues that affect the K-12 education system. This course is offered to provide the education policy perspective of 50CAN to include seminars taught by the organization’s executive and policy leadership. [13] Advocacy 101 focuses on teaching activism tools, such as fundamentals of advocacy and the “major players on the educational stage”. This course focuses on providing teachers and community leaders who possess a strong background in education polciy with the tools to perform effective activism. [14]

In addition to trainings, the leadership team which consists of former teachers, policy researchers, and activists provides their research abilities to clients along with the opportunities for various speaking engagements on the issues that 50CAN advocates for at the state and federal level. The organization also offers its services in the following areas: strategic planning, building activism campaigns, leadership training, and communications consulting. [15]

Financial Information

50CAN has received grants over $50,000 from the Richard King Mellon Foundation and over $100,000 from the Walton Family Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Joyce Foundation, McKnight Foundation, and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. [16]

Many of 50CAN’s grants supports the formation of specific state chapters and projects.

Leadership

Marc Porter Magee is the founder and current CEO of 50CAN. Prior to serving as CEO, he was the Chief Operating Officer for ConnCAN. Magee previously worked as a researcher for the Progressive Policy Institute, a centrist-liberal think tank. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Duke University. [17]

Vallay Varro is the president of 50CAN. Prior to serving as president, she served as school board director for St. Paul, Minnestota public schools and as education policy director for former St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman (D). She is also a former classroom teacher. Varro led the launch of MinnCAN, Minnesota’s chapter of 50CAN.

References

  1. Resmovits, Joy. “Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst will merge with education advocacy group 50CAN”. Los Angeles TImes. March 29, 2016. Accessed September 3, 2019. https://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-edu-michelle-rhee-studentsfirst-50can-20160329-story.html ^
  2. “Marc Porter Magee.” 50CAN National. Accessed September 25, 2019. https://50can.org/about-us/staff/marc-porter-magee/. ^
  3. Salhorta, Pooja. “ Connecticut maintains nations widest achievement gap”. Yale Daily News. November 15, 2013. Accessed September 2, 2019. https://yaledailynews.com/blog/2013/11/15/connecticut-maintains-nations-widest-achievement-gap/ ^
  4. ConnCAN. ”Our Impact”. Conncan.org. Accessed September 3, 2019. https://conncan.org/about-us/our-impact/ ^
  5. Salhorta, Pooja. “ Connecticut maintains nations widest achievement gap”. Yale Daily News. November 15, 2013. Accessed September 2, 2019. https://yaledailynews.com/blog/2013/11/15/connecticut-maintains-nations-widest-achievement-gap/ ^
  6. ConnCan. ”Connecticut’s Teachers, Principals, and Race to the Top”. Conncan.org. Accessed September 2, 2019. https://yaledailynews.com/blog/2013/11/15/connecticut-maintains-nations-widest-achievement-gap/ ^
  7. Resmovits, Joy. “Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst will merge with education advocacy group 50CAN”. Los Angeles TImes. March 29, 2016. Accessed September 3, 2019. https://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-edu-michelle-rhee-studentsfirst-50can-20160329-story.html ^
  8. 50CAN. “History”.  50can.org. Accessed September 3, 2019. https://50can.org/about-us/history/ ^
  9. 50CAN. “YouCAN”. 50can.org. Accessed September 3, 2019. https://50can.org/programs/youcan/ ^
  10. 50CAN. “YouCAN”. 50can.org. Accessed September 3, 2019. https://50can.org/programs/youcan/ ^
  11. 50CAN. ”Fellowships”. 50can.org. Accessed September 4, 2019. https://50can.org/programs/fellowships/ ^
  12. 50CAN. ”Fellowship Alumni.” 50can.org. Accessed September 4, 2019 https://50can.org/programs/fellowships/fellowship-alumni/ ^
  13. 50CAN. ”Education Policy 101”. 50can.org. Accessed September 4, 2019. https://50can.org/services/courses-trainings/education-policy-101/ ^
  14. 50CAN. ”Advocacy 101”. 50can.org. Accessed September 4, 2019. https://50can.org/services/courses-trainings/advocacy-101/ ^
  15. 50CAN. “CANsulting”. 50can.org. Accessed September 4, 2019. https://50can.org/services/cansulting/ ^
  16. Data compiled by FoundationSearch.com subscription service, a project of Metasoft Systems, Inc., from forms filed with the IRS. Queries conducted September 30, 2019. ^
  17. 50CAN. ”Marc Porter Magee”. 50can.org. Accessed September 4, 2019. https://50can.org/about-us/staff/marc-porter-magee/ ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

Associated Organizations

  1. 50CAN Action Fund (Non-profit)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 1, 2011

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2016 Dec Form 990 $10,127,796 $8,241,014 $4,629,629 $187,466 N $10,121,237 $2,375 $16 $669,554
    2015 Dec Form 990 $6,697,952 $7,189,567 $2,686,081 $130,700 N $6,689,398 $8,135 $419 $666,075 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $5,389,000 $5,456,437 $3,388,299 $141,303 N $5,379,020 $9,117 $863 $558,976 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $5,607,075 $5,857,419 $3,511,124 $196,690 Y $5,563,288 $43,451 $336 $239,409 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $6,214,394 $5,851,310 $3,695,189 $130,411 N $6,213,276 $0 $1,118 $231,000 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $5,077,601 $4,045,097 $3,365,178 $163,484 N $5,076,594 $0 $1,007 $393,904 PDF
    2010 Dec Form 990 $2,225,003 $78,620 $2,239,694 $70,504 N $2,225,003 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    50CAN

    1625 K ST NW STE 400
    WASHINGTON, DC 20006-1645