Group of Graduates


  • The goal of the academic department is to support the work of urban educators to improve student achievement for all students in our member districts. The department collaborates with researchers and experts in the field to determine district systems and resources that correlate with improved student achievement. This informs our recommendations to instructional leaders.

    We share high-leverage information through videos, publications, and virtual job-alike meetings. Additionally, we provide on-site strategic support teams, webinars, job-alike conferences, and workshops, while facilitating networking and collaboration among our members.

    Ongoing efforts focus on supporting our members with the implementation of college and career-readiness standards, addressing unfinished learning, and integrating social-emotional learning into the academic program. This includes increasing the functionality of academic key performance indicators, providing additional opportunities for regional networking as districts implement standards, providing and piloting tools for determining district-level implementation of the standards, alignment of instructional materials, and providing written guidance for developing high-quality curriculum that is aligned to rigorous standards.


    Farah Assiraj
    Chief of Teaching and Learning

    Robin Hall
    Chief of Schools

    Denise Walston
    Chief of Curriculum

    Gabriela Uro
    Director of ELL Policy and Research

    David Lai
    Special Projects Manager

    Ricki Price-Baugh
    Senior Advisor