Letter from Morty Ballen, CEO & Founder


Today in our city, and across our country, an excellent public education still remains a privilege awarded to some children based on where they happen to be born. At Explore Schools, we believe that school has the power to profoundly transform a child’s life and that demographics need not determine a child’s destiny. This belief is at the heart of our mission statement.

While the students we serve continue to receive the excellent education they deserve, many children in New York City are being denied this opportunity. In New York City alone there are nearly 30,000 students trapped in failing schools – a problem exacerbated by the fact that families living in our city’s poorest neighborhoods are displaced when their community school has closed.

The Explore community - outraged by this injustice – was motivated to find a solution. We asked ourselves: What if instead of starting new schools, we fixed the broken ones? What if we used our best qualities- the ability to set and achieve ambitious goals through perseverance and “grit,” and a deep belief both in the power of team and the ability of all students to succeed academically - to find a systemic solution to this challenge?

This question has launched Explore into an exciting moment in our organizational history. Rather than starting new schools, we have developed a bold solution: let’s keep the same students in the same building and make changes in academics, culture, and staff. In our ten years of working successfully in Brooklyn, we have proven that all children, regardless of background, can succeed. We are certain we can expand our model to serve students who are stuck in failing schools.

However, we can only move forward with your support.  Your generosity will ensure that students receive the high quality education they deserve. As we expand to serve more students in New York City we hope we can count on your support.




Morty Ballen
CEO & Founder
Explore Schools