AUSL (Academy for Urban School Leadership), created in 2001, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve student achievement in chronically failing schools, primarily in Chicago, through its disciplined transformation process, built on a foundation of specially trained AUSL teachers.
AUSL currently manages 29 Chicago Public Schools serving over 17,000 students and has graduated over 650 residents from AUSL’s Chicago Teacher Residency.
Steady, positive improvements in academic achievement, student engagement, and parent satisfaction are hallmarks of all AUSL-managed CPS schools. AUSL turnaround elementary schools have outpaced the Chicago Public School district growth in ISAT meets/exceeds gains every year since our first turnaround school in 2006. The University of Chicago Consortium on School Research found that turnarounds, including those managed by AUSL, closed the gap between their test scores and the CPS average by over half in reading and by two-thirds in math after four years.
What We’re Doing
Preparing Highly-Effective Teachers
Teachers are central to our theory of change. Through professional development for our teachers and the Chicago Teacher residency, AUSL develops highly effective teachers for the challenging urban environment. Many of the teachers at our turnaround schools are graduates of the AUSL Chicago Teacher Residency which is a year-long program during which residents train under the guidance of a carefully selected and trained mentor teacher in the classroom and complete coursework at National Louis University to obtain a Master’s Degree.
Transforming Failing Schools
To transform failing schools, AUSL executes a rigorous, comprehensive and proven turnaround model that has become a national model for reform. The transformation begins with new leadership, new teachers and staff with many of them trained to teach in urban schools, new curriculum, additional after-school programs and newly renovated facilities. The same students return in the fall to the same school, with a new climate focused on success for every student. AUSL manages these turnaround schools under contract with CPS. AUSL schools are, and continue to be, public neighborhood schools.
The History of AUSL
2000 / 2001
Arne Duncan, Martin Koldyke, and Dr. Donald Feinstein develop the Chicago Teacher Residency, a specialized training program for teachers in urban schools
2001 / 2002
AUSL opens first training academy, The Chicago Academy
2002 / 2003
First class of 31 residents graduate
2003 / 2004
AUSL opens second training academy, Dodge Renaissance Academy; 56 residents graduate
2004 / 2005
AUSL opens its first high school training academy, Chicago Academy High School; 34 residents graduate
2005 / 2006
AUSL opens Tarkington School of Excellence, 4th Training Academy; 43 residents graduate
2006 / 2007
AUSL's first turnaround school, Sherman School of Excellence; 35 residents graduate
2007 / 2008
AUSL's second turnaround school, Harvard School of Excellence; AUSL opens two more training academies, Collins Academy High School and National Teachers Academy; 44 residents graduate
2008 / 2009
Three new turnaround schools: Orr Academy High School and Morton and Howe Schools of Excellence; 69 residents graduate
2009 / 2010
New turnaround schools: Bethune, Johnson and Dulles Schools of Excellence; 56 residents graduate
2010 / 2011
Four new turnaround schools: Bradwell, Curtis and Deneen Schools of Excellence and Phillips Academy High School; 69 residents graduate
2011 / 2012
Morton and Howe become teacher training sites; 500th resident graduates
2012 / 2013
Six new turnaround schools: Casals, Fuller, Herzl, Marquette, Piccolo, and Stagg Schools of Excellence; Bradwell, Curtis, Dulles, Johnson, Orr and Phillips become teacher training sites; 150 residents graduate
2013 / 2014
Five new turnaround schools: Carter, Chalmers, Dewey, Lewis, and O'Keeffe Schools of Excellence; Deneen and Marquette become teacher training sites; Dodge co-locates with Morton; Bethune closes