K-12 instruction experts Student Achievement Partners and educational leadership development leader NYC Leadership Academy have teamed up to develop a new set of professional learning opportunities and resources to support leaders in creating rigorous and culturally responsive learning experiences across schools and school systems. The project is funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York.

These national organizations bring unique expertise and nearly 30 years of collective experience helping school systems improve student learning outcomes for all students, particularly those students whose needs have historically not been met, and where achievement and opportunity gaps persist. Since 2011, Student Achievement Partners has supported the implementation of K-12 evidence-based math and literacy standards that set students up for success in college and careers after high school graduation. The NYC Leadership Academy has supported and developed thousands of school and school system leaders working in districts across 36 states since its founding in 2003, with a particular focus on preparing leaders to identify and address inequities in ways that transform learning for students.

This partnership aims to address the need for more rigorous, standards-aligned, culturally responsive curriculum and instruction for K-12 students. Recent research shows that less than one-fifth of students can demonstrate standards-level mastery of their subjects, in large part because teachers are not giving them strong, engaging instruction, and holding them to high expectations. Students of color and low-income students are disproportionately affected by these trends. Culturally responsive curriculum puts the student at the center of their own learning so that they thrive in an academically challenging environment that also supports them in meeting their highest potential. School and school system leaders play a critical role in selecting and implementing high-quality, culturally responsive curriculum.

In this partnership, SAP and NYC Leadership Academy will

  • Enhance existing school and school system leader standards to expand guidance around instructional practice and indicators.
  • Develop a research-based leadership practice framework focused on instruction.
  • Expand NYC Leadership Academy’s equity-focused classroom walkthrough tool to help leaders identify and give feedback on equitable instructional practices.
  • Design professional learning experiences focused on culturally relevant standards-aligned instructional leadership and parent engagement.

“Our collaboration with the NYC Leadership Academy brings together college-and career-ready instruction and equitable learning environments, two components of education which are intrinsically linked and mutually reinforcing,” Student Achievement Partners President Amy Briggs said. “We are excited for what this work means for our shared objective of creating equitable learning spaces grounded in high academic expectations for all students.”

Said NYC Leadership Academy President & CEO Nancy Gutierrez, “We will never close the opportunity and learning gaps that plague so many of our schools without intentionally examining the learning experiences our children are getting. Leaders play a critical role in making sure their schools use instruction and curriculum that are both challenging and engaging for every student and that holds students to high academic expectations. We are thrilled to combine expertise with Student Achievement Partners to give the field the tools needed to provide rigorous and engaging learning opportunities.”

About NYC Leadership Academy

NYC Leadership Academy is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization that builds the capacity of educational leaders, at every level of the system, to confront inequities and create the conditions necessary for all students to thrive. Since 2003, NYCLA has worked with educators in more than 190 school districts, state education departments, and education organizations across 36 states, Washington, D.C., and internationally.

 About Student Achievement Partners

Student Achievement Partners is a non-profit organization committed to improving literacy and mathematics outcomes for K-12 students nationally, with a particular focus on accelerating academic progress for historically underserved students. The organization supports individual classroom teachers, districts, states, partner organizations, and publishers in their efforts to create equitable instruction for students that is grounded in high expectations and based on research for what works. Achievethecore.org, Student Achievement Partners’ website, features free tools and resources for classroom teachers, coaches, school leaders, and all those supporting students across the country.

Contact Jill Grossman: Jgrossman@leadershipacademy.org