What is the achievement gap, and why does it matter?
The achievement gap is not about students who are failing; it is about the schools that have failed the students. There are far too many statistics discussing what children cannot do simply because their education has failed them.
It is time to change the conversation. Change the outcomes. Change how we address education in the U.S.
In the current public education system country-wide, African American, Latino, and poor students of all races are two years behind their wealthier, predominantly white peers in reading and math by the end of the fourth grade. By eighth grade, they have slipped three years behind, and by twelfth grade, four years behind.
Across the nation, there are dramatic examples that show there are significantly better, measurable outcomes that are possible for our children. It all starts with one key factor: transformational school leadership.
Without truly effective and transformational principals working to ensure that children growing up in poverty have access to great schools, we will continue to have the same troubling conversation about education in America. Accelerate Institute believes school leaders who are properly trained—and believe that all students can and must succeed—have the power to transform urban schools...and ultimately children’s lives.
In order to enable every child
—regardless of their ZIP code—
reach their full potential,
we partner to create high-performing schools
by dramatically accelerating student achievement
We make decisions in which student achievement and wellbeing are prioritized while honoring individual student experiences.
We bring our best work, are productive, are present, and get accelerated results.
Our interactions and cooperation produce a combined effect greater than the sum of the separate effects.
We value all dimensions of diversity and seek to model the fairness and justice that we want to see in the world.
The work is hard. It's in that we find joy and are thankful to each other and show appreciation for all stakeholders.
Our commitment to diversity
Accelerate Institute embraces diversity. It is something we have believed in and supported from day one. Having a diverse organization aligns with our commitment to an equal opportunity workplace. We celebrate equal employment opportunities regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity, Veteran status, or other legally protected status. We are also ready to accommodate physically challenged or special needs individuals that require any special assistance. Accelerate Institute is proud of our history of diversity and is a strong supporter of the community.
The Accelerate Institute Story
Driven by the possibility of closing the achievement gap
Accelerate Institute was founded 30 years ago by Pat Ryan, Jr., after he served as a teacher on the South Side of Chicago and gang narcotics officer. From early on, Mr. Ryan’s conviction has been that all children deserve access to an equal education. That became the genesis of Accelerate Institute. Since then, Accelerate Institute has pioneered a strategic approach to creating transformational school leaders. The proof lies in the results its own charter school (Alain Locke Charter School) posts again and again. The school serves as an incubator for up-and-coming leaders, showing them how the achievement gap can be remedied through a leadership approach that is deliberate, focused, and replicable.
Board of Directors
Pat Ryan, Jr., Founder, Accelerate Institute
Founder and CEO, INCISENT Labs Group
Larry W. Gies
President and Chief Executive Officer, Madison Industries
Gregory K. Jones
Chief Operating Officer, The Edgewater Funds
Founding Chairman, Potbelly Corporation
Founder and Chairman, Levy Restaurants
Executive Chairman, Interactive Metronome
Founder and Chairman, Satter Investment Management
Principal of Scoby Investments LLC
Managing Member, Broken Dice Trading and Research
Achievement School District
Alliance College-Ready Public Schools
Aspire Public Schools
Bright Star Schools
Carmen High School of Science and Technology
Catalyst Charter Schools
CICS (Chicago International Charter Schools)
Citizens of the World
Cristo Rey Network
Democracy Prep Public Schools
Great Public Schools Now
High Tech LA
IDEA Public Schools
Jubilee Schools (Memphis)
LEAD Public Schools
Memphis Education Fund
New Schools for Baton Rouge
Schools That Can Milwaukee
Silicon Schools Fund
Summit Public Schools
Teach For America
Valor Collegiate Academies
And many others!
Alta Vista Fund
Bill Bartholomay Foundation
Bruce and Beth White Family Foundation
D & R Fund
Devers Group, Inc.
DLA Piper LLC
Grosvenor Capital Management
Henry E. Niles Foundation
Hoeflich Family Fund
Huizenga Capital Management
Kirkland & Ellis Foundation
Madigan Family Foundation
Make It Better Media
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Keiser Donor Advised Fund
Paragon Pharmaceutical Management Corporation
Segal Family Foundation
Shekhawat Family Charitable Fund
The Gies Foundation
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Foundation
Valor Equity Partners
William Penn Foundation