Academy for Urban School Leadership

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AUSL (Academy for Urban School Leadership)
Founded 2001 (2001)
Founder Martin Koldyke
Type School Management Organization and Teacher Preparation Program
Coordinates 41°56′31″N 87°46′35″W / 41.9419°N 87.7763°W / 41.9419; -87.7763Coordinates: 41°56′31″N 87°46′35″W / 41.9419°N 87.7763°W / 41.9419; -87.7763
Key people

Donald Feinstein, Ph.D., Executive Director

Shana Hayes, Managing Director, External Affairs

Scott Macdonald, Managing Director, Strategy and Operations

Jarvis Sanford, Managing Director, Managing Director, AUSL Network Schools
Mission AUSL creates schools of excellence by developing highly effective teachers and transforming educational outcomes for students in the lowest performing schools.

AUSL (Academy for Urban School Leadership) is a Chicago nonprofit school management organization that creates schools of excellence by developing highly effective teachers and transforming educational outcomes for students in the lowest performing schools.

AUSL was founded in 2001 and today manages 32 Chicago Public Schools serving more than 18,000 students. Over 750 teachers have graduated from the AUSL Chicago Teacher Residency.[1]

Network of Schools[edit]

AUSL Network of Schools Map.png

AUSL manages 32 Chicago Public Schools serving over 18,000 students. AUSL schools operate within the CPS system and are built on the foundation of effective instruction, the right climate and culture, and high expectations and no excuses. Strong school leadership and highly effective teachers ensure student academic and social/emotional growth in AUSL's network of schools.[2]

The Chicago Academy, housed in the former Wilbur Wright College building, is AUSL’s first teacher training site.
School Name Address Neighborhood Grades
Bradwell School of Excellence 7736 S. Burnham Ave. South Shore Pre K-8
Carter School of Excellence 5740 S. Michigan Ave. Washington Park Pre K-8
Casals School of Excellence 3501 W. Potomac Ave. Humboldt Park Pre K-8
Chalmers School of Excellence 2745 W. Roosevelt Rd. North Lawndale Pre K-8
The Chicago Academy 3400 N. Austin Ave. Dunning Pre K-8
Chicago Academy High School 3400 N. Austin Ave. Dunning 9-12
Collins Academy High School 1313 S. Sacramento Dr. North Lawndale 9-12
Curtis School of Excellence 32 E. 115th St. Roseland Pre K-8
Deneen School of Excellence 7240 S. Wabash Ave. Greater Grand Crossing Pre K-8
Dewey School of Excellence 5415 S. Union Ave. New City Pre K-8
Dodge Renaissance Academy 431 N. Troy Ave. East Garfield Park Pre K-8
Dulles School of Excellence 6311 S. Calumet Ave. Greater Grand Crossing Pre K-8
Dvorak School of Excellence 3615 W 16th St. North Lawndale Pre K-8
Fuller School of Excellence 4214 S. Saint Lawrence Ave. Grand Boulevard Pre K-8
Gresham School of Excellence 8524 S Green St. Auburn Gresham Pre K-8
Harvard School of Excellence 7525 S. Harvard Ave. Greater Grand Crossing Pre K-8
Herzl School of Excellence 3711 W. Douglas Blvd. North Lawndale Pre K-8
Howe School of Excellence 720 N. Lorel Ave. Austin Pre K-8
Johnson School of Excellence 1420 S. Albany Ave. North Lawndale Pre K-8
Lewis School of Excellence 1431 N. Leamington Ave. Austin Pre K-8
Marquette School of Excellence 6550 S. Richmond St. Chicago Lawn Pre K-8
McNair School of Excellence 4820 W Walton St. Austin Pre K-8
Morton School of Excellence 431 N. Troy Ave. East Garfield Park Pre K-8
National Teachers Academy 55 W. Cermak Rd. Near South Side Pre K-8
O'Keeffe School of Excellence 6940 S. Merrill Ave. South Shore Pre K-8
Orr Academy High School 730 N. Pulaski Ave. Humboldt Park 9-12
Phillips Academy High School 244 E. Pershing Rd. Douglas 9-12
Piccolo School of Excellence 1040 N. Keeler Ave. Humboldt Park Pre K-8
Sherman School of Excellence 1000 W. 52nd St. New City Pre K-8
Solorio Academy High School 5400 S. St. Louis St. Gage Park 9-12
Stagg School of Excellence 7424 S. Morgan St. Englewood Pre K-8
Tarkington School of Excellence 3330 W. 71st St. Chicago Lawn Pre K-8

Chicago Teacher Residency Program[edit]

The Chicago Teacher Residency Class of 2012

The centerpiece of AUSL's efforts is the Chicago Teacher Residency program, a year-long urban teacher training program in Chicago's Public Schools. This intensive 12-month, full-time, paid training program combines teacher preparation, licensure, and a Master's degree to give Residents the tools they need to dramatically improve student achievement in Chicago’s public schools.

Residents work four days a week in the classroom of an experienced Mentor teacher, at an AUSL teacher training CPS school and receive intensive and individualized coaching, guidance and opportunities for practice that shape them into a confident, capable, and reflective teachers ready for the special challenges of their own classroom in a CPS school. Residents also earn a Master of Arts in Teaching from National Louis University and a full Illinois Initial teaching certification in just one year. If already certified to teach, residents earn a Master of Education in Urban Education.

After the training year, graduates commit to teach in an AUSL-managed Chicago Public School for at least four years.[3]


Steady, positive improvements in academic achievement, student engagement, and parent satisfaction are hallmarks of all AUSL-managed CPS schools.

  • U.S.News & World Report Education ranked Chicago Academy High School in the top ten best public high schools in the city of Chicago.[4]
  • Morton School of Excellence has maintained Level 1 status since school year 2010-11. In 2012, Morton School of Excellence surpassed the district ISAT average, the first turnaround school to achieve this milestone.[5]
  • In 2013, Phillips Academy High School achieved Level 1 status for the first time in its history.[6]
  • Every year since 2008, AUSL turnaround elementary schools, on average, have surpassed the district's growth on ISAT gains.[7]

Independent Research[edit]

The University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research and American Institutes for Research in 2012 released a summary from their independent research evaluating the effect of reform including AUSL turnarounds.[8] The study concluded the following:

  • Four years after intervention, the gap in test scores between reformed elementary/middle schools and the school system average closed by almost half in reading and by two-thirds in mathematics.
  • The teacher workforce after intervention across all models was more likely to be white, younger, and less experienced, and were more likely to have provisional certification than teachers who were at those schools before the intervention.
  • Without intervention, the comparison neighborhood schools saw minimal to no increases in average test scores.
  • Furthermore, these significant results were achieved serving the same students as before intervention.
  • Transformation of an elementary school is a process, not an event. The gains seen in the fourth year vs. the comparison schools are higher than those seen in the first year.
  • High schools that underwent reform did not show significant improvements in absences or ninth grade on-track-to-graduate rates over matched comparison schools, but recent high school efforts look more promising than earlier ones.


A Chicago Tribune article on AUSL from February 2012 entitled "School reform organization gets average grades" [9] stated that,

Most of AUSL turnarounds score below CPS averages on the percentage of students meeting or exceeding state benchmarks on standardized testing. Those schools that beat district averages have been accused of pushing out their lowest-performing students or those with discipline problems to artificially inflate their test scores.