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    We believe every child should have the chance to achieve their full potential

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.

Failure Disrupted: 25 Years of Closing the Education Gap

Failure Disrupted: 25 Years of Closing the Education Gap

Our mission

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

Our Values


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.

Important Milestones

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

Bryant Keil 
Founding Chairman, Potbelly Corporation

Lydia Ryan
Civic Leader

Robert Ryan
Executive Chairman, Interactive Metronome

Muneer Satter 
Founder and Chairman, Satter Investment Management

Joe Scoby 
Principal of Scoby Investments LLC

Brad Sullivan 
Managing Member, Broken Dice Trading and Research

Key Partnerships

Acero Schools

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

Grizzlies Prep

High Tech LA

IDEA Public Schools

Jubilee Schools (Memphis)

KIPP: Memphis

LEAD Public Schools

Memphis Education Fund

New Schools for Baton Rouge

Opportunity 180

Project Renaissance

Schools That Can Milwaukee

Silicon Schools Fund

Summit Public Schools

Teach For America

Uncommon Schools

Valor Collegiate Academies

And many others!


Alta Vista Fund

Ariel Investments

Bill Bartholomay Foundation

Bruce and Beth White Family Foundation

Colliers International

D & R Fund

Devers Group, Inc.


Goldman Sachs

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

Penske Corporation

Satter Foundation

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

Wintrust Financial