Accelerate Institute Resource Center

In-depth Case Studies, Tools and Results

The Ryan Fellowship and The Accelerator Impact:
One-page Snapshot

From the national reach to the academic impact, this one-page sheet gives you an overview of the difference that Accelerate Institute leaders are making across the United States.

Accelerate Institute Framework:
Key Points [POSTER]

This poster is a great way to keep the rationale for the Accelerate Institute Framework at-the-ready in your office.  These key points act as reminders when you are making tough decisions and need to prioritize your focus.

Accelerate Institute Framework:
Change Management [POSTER]

Here is a snapshot of the six Objectives of the Accelerate Framework and how they help guide the transformation of schools: Change Management, High-Performing Team, Constructive Environment, Aspirational Environment, Data-Driven Culture and Black-Belt Teaching.  This visual can be kept at-the-ready to help you remember the key objectives that a school must achieve in order to close the achievement gap for students.

Accelerate Institute Framework:
Cornerstones [CHART]

This is a perfect roadmap for leaders and anyone who wishes to measure up their school to a proven approach that has delivered impressive results for countless schools across the U.S. Keep this chart at-the-ready in your office and review the objectives and drivers that make up the to make sure your school—and your plan—are on track. 

Accelerate Institute Framework:
Transformational Leaders [POSTER]

What characteristics make up truly transformational leaders? Download this poster, and you’ll have a handy reference that illustrates the 8 characteristics needed to be a transformational leader along with descriptions giving you more insight into what each characteristic means. 

Accelerate Institute Frameworks:

Here are all four of the documents above in one handy downloadable PDF.

Accelerate Case Study #1:
Lennie Jones, Alain Locke Charter School, Chicago

Pat Ryan, founder of Accelerate Institute, says Lennie, "...really understood intuitively what it took to create a school that would allow children to achieve their fullest potential and how to make it work in the community we were serving." Go inside Alain Locke Charter School in this case study and see what makes Lennie Jones so special—and very effective at closing the achievement gap.

Accelerate Case Study #2:
Dawn Sandoval, Catalyst-Maria High School, Chicago

Dawn Sandoval is a 2012 Ryan Fellow who is tireless in her pursuit of academic excellence. Colleagues have a hard time keeping up with Ms. Sandoval as she continues on her mission to make Catalyst-Maria High School and its students the best they can be. It wasn't always easy, either. Discover what Dawn learned in her first year, and how she used that experience to propel her students to great success.

Accelerate Case Study #3:
Foundations College Prep, Chicago

Take a journey to Foundations College Prep in Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood to discover how teachers and students are working together to excel every day. Led by Sarah Hunko Baker, a Ryan Fellow principal, you'll learn how the approach at Foundations is focused on getting the best results with a plan designed around technology, data and expert planning. 

Accelerate Case Study #4:
Eva Stevens, Heatherbrae Elementary School, Phoenix

This detailed case study gives you an insider look at how Eva Stevens, principal of Heatherbrae Elementary, leverages all three of the Accelerate Institute Cornerstones to continue to improve the school year after year. You'll see how she helped transform the team she inherited, put new systems and structures in place, and earned a reputation as one of the most respected leaders in her field. Her hard work and passion earned her a Ryan Award in 2014, as well. 

Accelerate Case Study #5:
Michael Mann, North Star Academy College Prep, Newark

Get an in-depth look at how Ryan Award Winner, Michael Mann, is doing great things in New Jersey. And even though his school is very successful, it's Mann's deep commitment to closing the achievement gap that keeps him always on the lookout for ways to improve, and different areas to grow. In a community where the school is almost a second home for many of its students, you'll see just how important Michael Mann is to his students and the success they're enjoying.

Accelerate Case Study #6:
Melissa Jones Clarke, Atlanta Heights Charter School, Atlanta

Tamika Draper, Director of School Quality at National Heritage Academies, sums up 2014 Ryan Award Winner Melissa Jones Clarke best: "Any time we wanted to talk about school culture or how do you successfully open a new school in an urban environment, we visited Atlanta Heights Charter School to see the work that (she) was doing." Download this case study today and find out why. 

Accelerate Case Study #7:
Lamont Browne, EastSide Charter School, Wilmington, DE

Go inside EastSide and see how Lamont Browne, a 2015 Ryan Award Winner, was able to boost the school to its highest achievement levels ever. Discover the “importance of yet” and how the little things add up to make for a brighter future at the school. 

Accelerate Case Study #8:
Tyson Kane, Chicago Bulls College Prep, Chicago

Find out how a former corporate turnaround consultant—who can also breakdance—was able to transform his school into one of the biggest success stories in the nation. Tyson Kane founded Chicago Bulls Prep in 2009 and has made it his mission since the very first day to empower his team and engage his students. It’s an approach that earned him a 2015 Ryan Award, and this case study makes it easy to see why he was chosen.

Accelerate Case Study #9:
Hannah Lofthus, Ewing Marion Kauffman School, Kansas City, MO

Ms. Lofthus, a 2016 Ryan Award recipient, understands you cannot just copy parts of a successful school and expect the same results. This case study takes you inside her school to show how she ensured her vision of success was felt by everyone. 

Accelerate Case Study #10:
Laura Miguez Howarth, KIPP Academy Nashville

In her first full year as principal, Ms. Howarth’s students posted double-digit increases on state scores, more than doubling their state math and science results. And that was just the beginning. Go inside this 2016 Ryan Award winner’s school to see how transparency was the first step in getting there. 

Ryan Award Winner Profile:
Michael Mann, North Star Academy College Prep, Newark

What drives Michael Mann? It's not hard to figure out: he has a continual need to improve the education and opportunities for his students at his Newark school. Read about how his approach—and the ensuing results he achieved—garnered him a 2014 Ryan Award.

Ryan Award Winner Profile:
Eva Stevens, Heatherbrae Elementary School, Phoenix

The daughter of a teacher, Stevens says school has always been a happy place for her—and she knew from a young age she also would become a teacher. Follow her journey at Heatherbrae Elementary from 2000 up until she won a coveted Ryan Award in 2014.

Ryan Award Winner Profile:
Melissa Jones Clarke, Atlanta Heights Charter School, Atlanta

During her tenure at Atlanta Heights, Clarke helped pull her students, who arrived years below grade level, up to new levels. It was that work, combined with her passion and unwavering respect of her peers, which earned her a 2014 Ryan Award. 

Ryan Award Winner Profile:
Lamont Browne, EastSide Charter School, Wilmington, DE

After rotating through several principals, EastSide had one more chance to turn things around. Thankfully, Lamont Browne had the vision they needed; his approach helped the school achieve the highest growth rate in Math and English Language Arts scores of any charter school in Delaware in the past two testing years. And that’s just part of the story…

Ryan Award Winner Profile:
Tyson Kane, Chicago Bulls College Prep, Chicago

In Mr. Kane’s six years at the helm of Bulls Prep, his students have performed at consistently high levels, with 100 percent of its graduates being accepted to four-year universities, including Harvard University, Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago. Read more about this high-performing school and the social media sensation who leads them to success.

Ryan Award Winner Profile:
Hannah Lofthus, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Ewing Marion Kauffman School (EMKS), Kansas City, MO

Hannah Lofthus believes all children are capable of meeting high academic expectations when they are in the right educational environment. Her commitment to offering students and families in her community an excellent education on par with the best schools nationwide earned her national recognition when she received the Ryan Award in 2016.

Ryan Award Winner Profile:
Laura Miguez Howarth, Principal, KIPP Academy Nashville, Nashville, TN

By focusing on transparency, Laura Miguez Howarth transformed her school. Today, KIPP Academy Nashville is a Tennessee Reward School, a distinction given to the top 5 percent of Tennessee schools for year-over-year progress. She is a 2016 Ryan Award recipient.

Ryan Award Winner Profile: 
Elizabeth Vandlik, Principal, Success Academy Bronx 1, New York City, NY

 “We don’t have to accept that things have to be the way everybody says they have to be.” That’s school leader Elizabeth Vandlik talking about her approach to transforming her school, Success Academy Bronx 1, in New York City. Read about how Vandlik and her staff have thought through every moment of the day and what it should look like, and how that has lead the school to new levels of success.  

Ryan Award Case Study:
Molly Cole, 2018 Ryan Award Winner, Brooke East Boston
Boston, Mass. 

Molly Cole’s calm and steady leadership has helped drive impressive results for the students at Brooke East Boston, 74 percent of which qualify for free and reduced lunch. Read about how Brooke East Boston became the No. 1 K-8 school in the state of Massachusetts. It’s in no small part due to Cole’s focus as a leader on continual growth. 

Ryan Award Case Study:
Jody Jones, 2018 Ryan Award Winner,
North Star Academy Clinton Hill Middle School 
Newark, NJ 

When Jody Jones was tapped to become the principal for the Clinton Hill campus, she recognized that taking over a school and replacing someone else as principal required a different skillset than starting a school fresh. Learn the steps she took to get existing staff on board with her vision and how her school laid the groundwork for success. 

Hyper Focus: How to Transform Schools

Authored by Accelerate Institute, this in-depth report examines the systemic change schools need to embrace, how important leaders are as catalysts to spark that change, and ways to use the 80/20 rule to refine priorities (for example, choosing “big rocks” each semester). The report also details how the Accelerate Institute framework fits into it all and how important it is for developing transformational leaders. 

Success stories from across the U.S.

The following case studies will give you insights on what works...what’s different...what’s next...and show you some impressive leaders who are closing the achievement gap.

Case Study: Achievement Prep
Showing students a clear path to succeed by investing in them and setting expectations.

Case Study: Community Day Charter Public School
How clarity of mission can help not just the students but also be instrumental in finding the right candidates to teach at your school.

Case Study: DC Prep-Edgewood Middle Campus
Discover how a focused mission and leadership that goes beyond routine can raise student achievements.

Case Study: Gary Comer College Prep
Using data to focus on teacher development is just one key component to success at this school.

Case Study: Icahn 2 Charter School
How does the Core Knowledge curriculum fit into this school’s model—and what makes their approach work?

Case Study: KIPP Central City
How to motivate staff and overcome barriers as a team at a struggling school—and turning it into a success.

Case Study: Match High School, Boston
Focusing on data-driven instruction and The Match Corps made all the difference here.

Case Study: Sci Academy, New Orleans
From a dedication to data to refining the hiring process, school founder Ben Marcovitz is at the center of it all.

Video Library

Failure Disrupted: 25 Years of Closing the Education Gap

Failure Disrupted: 25 Years of Closing the Education Gap

Accelerate Institute Overview

Accelerate Institute Overview

The School Accelerator

The School Accelerator

Catherine Burns, Chief Academic Officer

Catherine Burns, Chief Academic Officer