Boston Foundation announces launch of Pozen Prize for Charter Schools competition

October 2, 2013

$80,000 prize to recognize educational excellence among charters, complement prize for district schools

Pozen Prize logoBoston – The Boston Foundation today announced the inaugural Pozen Prize for Charter Schools, a new annual prize to recognize the charter school in Greater Boston that has demonstrated academic excellence for its students over the preceding three-year period.  The first $80,000 prize will be awarded no later than June 2014, following a quantitative and qualitative review conducted by the Boston Foundation and an independent selection panel.  The inaugural prize will use data from 2011 to 2013 in determining eligible charter public schools and assessing their effectiveness.

The prize is being created by Boston Foundation donors Robert and Elizabeth Pozen. Robert is a former top executive of Fidelity Investments and MFS Investment Management, who now serves as a Senior Lecturer at the Harvard Business School and a Senior Research Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Elizabeth is a retired psychotherapist who is now focusing on her career as a figurative artist.

The Pozen Prize for Charter Schools recognizes the long-term academic excellence of Greater Boston charter schools by selecting one charter public school annually that demonstrates excellence by both quantitative and qualitative measures. Greater Boston charter schools whose MCAS scores meet a baseline established by the prize selection committee will be invited to complete full applications. The list of invited schools and the full application criteria will be released at the end of October.

The prize fills a gap for schools not eligible for the EdVestors School on the Move prize, an annual award for a Boston Public School that is advancing the academic achievement of its students.  EdVestors will serve as an advisor to the Pozen Prize. Together, the prizes will highlight successful approaches at local schools and advance the conversation about access to excellent educational opportunities.

“Charter schools in Boston are public schools open to all students, yet many charters have closed the achievement gap for low-income students,” said Robert Pozen. “We want to reward the efforts of the charter schools and disseminate their best practices to the larger community.”

The $80,000 prize will be awarded to an individual charter school, with the expectation that the winner will disseminate its best practices to the educational community in Greater Boston. The majority of the prize will go to the winning school, with a portion going to its educational staff.

“If we are to provide quality schools for all our students, we need to seek out and share best practices from all our public schools,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “This prize recognizes the unmatched speed with which charter public schools have been able to use their autonomy and school-based decision making to improve the lives of students who otherwise would have no options. We thank the Pozens for making it possible.”

Read more about the Pozen Prize for Charter Schools at the Boston Foundation.


The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of nearly $900 million.  In 2012, the Foundation and its donors made $88 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of close to $60 million. The Foundation is a partner in philanthropy, with some 900 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. 

The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, provider of information, convener and sponsor of special initiatives that address the region’s most pressing challenges.  The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), an operating unit of the Foundation, designs and implements custom philanthropic strategies for families, foundations and corporations around the globe. Through its consulting and field-advancing efforts, TPI has influenced billions of dollars in giving worldwide.  For more information about the Boston Foundation and TPI, visit or call 617-338-1700.