Match High School wins annual innovative school performance prize

May 18, 2016

James Burnett (617) 338-3890  
  Cloe Axelson (917) 327-0785
BOSTONMatch High School, part of the Match Charter Public School, a Pre-K-12 school with campuses in Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park and Brighton, was named the 2016 winner of The Pozen Prize for Innovative Schools, Tuesday afternoon.

The $80,000 prize recognizes academic excellence and quality learning environments in Greater Boston charter schools.

During a tour of the Match High School campus on Commonwealth Ave. Tuesday, one half of the prize’s namesake, Robert Pozen, a Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, lauded Match schools for going above and beyond classroom instruction.
“The Pozen Prize was designed to recognize innovative schools in the general Metropolitan area of Boston,” Pozen said. “Match was chosen because it not only exhibits a very high level of academic excellence, but also it has a deep commitment to personal development and parental involvement.”
Pozen surprised a small group of teachers and students gathered in the office of Match High School Principal Hannah Larkin by telling them the school had won.
“We are so honored and appreciative of this award,” Larkin said. “It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication of our students and staff. At Match we strive to create a respectful, loving and diverse community where we build meaningful relationships with students and families, and where our students have the opportunity to engage in the joy and struggle of rigorous academic work. We are grateful to be recognized for that effort today.”

Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation, hailed Match as an “excellent choice.”

“Both Bob and Elizabeth Pozen and Match have demonstrated excellence in their commitment to top flight educational standards and academic achievement,” Grogan said.  “Match High School and Match Charter Public School  as a whole also demonstrate the opportunities that can arise when a great education is available to a diverse student body. With its selection for the 2016 Pozen Prize for Charter Schools, Match has the opportunity to put even more resources into serving its already accomplished students and teachers.”

According to data supplied by Match and derived from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Match students perform impressively on multiple achievement indicators in comparison to their peers in district schools. For example, 89 percent of 10th graders scored advanced or proficient on the 2015 MCAS mathematics exam, compared to 67 percent of 10th graders in the Boston Public Schools; 93 percent did so in English, compared to 82 percent in BPS. Proficiency rates of low-income student and students of color at Match are equally high. About 75 percent of Match students take Advanced Placement courses, with a pass rate of 54.3 percent. Further, over the past two years, Match High School has seen a 95 percent pass rate for students studying AP Calculus. Ninety-three percent of Match High graduates enroll in a four-year college or university. And of the school’s six early graduating classes (2004-2009), 52 percent have completed a bachelor’s degree, eight percent have obtained a two-year degree, and 13 percent are still enrolled in college.

Both Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report have ranked Match Charter Public High School among the top US public high schools. In addition, New Leaders for New Schools and the U.S. Department of Education have recognized Match Middle School and Match High School as EPIC Award winners for student achievement gains on MCAS exams five times between 2008-09 and 2011-12.

Community Charter School of Cambridge (CCSC), a public Commonwealth charter school, serving grades 6-12, was named runner up for the 2016 Pozen Prize and awarded $10,000.


The Pozen Prize for Innovative Schools was established at the Boston Foundation in the fall of 2013 as the Pozen Prize for Charter Schools, to honor the charter school in Greater Boston that has most demonstrated consistent academic excellence in for and by its students over the preceding three years. As of 2016, the name and focus of the prize have changed to reflect support of all types of innovative schools.

The $80,000 prize was created by Boston Foundation donors Robert and Elizabeth Pozen. Robert, a Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Senior Research Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Elizabeth, a figurative artist and retired psychotherapist, have said that with the prize they want to recognize the hard work of the region’s charter schools and encourage high achieving charters to educate the larger school community in Greater Boston on their best practices.

Commonwealth Charter schools – those operated independently of local public school districts – with three strong years of performance on the state’s MCAS exams are invited to apply for the Pozen Prize. Elizabeth Pauley, Education to Career Program Director at the Boston Foundation, and other Foundation staff assist a team of volunteer judges who consider the applications, visit the schools, interview staff and do qualitative and quantitative analyses to determine the winner.

Boston Preparatory Charter Public School in Hyde Park won the inaugural Pozen Prize in June 2014, and Brooke Charter Schools won in 2015.