In 2000, The foundation for a Greater Opportunity, a foundation funded by Carl C. Icahn, applied to open a charter elementary school in the South Bronx. The application, in partnership with CEI-PEA, was submitted to SUNY’s Charter Schools Institute, which approved the charter in March 2001.
The school was built at 1525 Brook Avenue and opened for grades K-2 in September 2001, with 108 students. The school has added a grade each year. A middle school building was built for grades 5-8 and opened in 2008. The school is presently a K - 8 organization and has been renamed "Icahn Charter School 1".
Our students’ achievement was so extraordinary that we expanded to continue through middle school. Our continued success led to our application for additional schools. We opened Icahn Charter School #2 in 2007, Icahn Charter School #3 in 2008 and Icahn Charter School #4 in 2009. Shortly thereafter, we applied for and opened Icahn Charter Schools #5, 6, & 7.
Along with his varied and successful professional projects, Carl C. Icahn created the Foundation for a Greater Opportunity. One of its primary missions is to improve education in New York City. Mr. Icahn’s goal is to prove that all children can learn if they are in a rigorous academic program. He believes that charter schools can radically improve public education. The accountability and autonomy of charter schools assure that the schools will be held to a high standard.
The board of the Icahn Charter Schools includes leaders in education, health and the corporate sector.
In 2001, the Board hired Jeffrey Litt, a principal from the New York City Board of Education to become the very first principal of the formerly named, Carl C. Icahn Charter school . Mr. Litt has since become the Superintendent of all the Icahn Charter Schools.