AUSL Innovation Zone featured on Chicago Tonight

This week marks the start of a new year, and the next chapter, at AUSL. As a reflection of how far we have come and a harbinger of the opportunity that lies ahead, last night, AUSL was featured on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight program in a piece by reporter Brandis Friedman.

Friedman’s story features the growth of Piccolo School of Excellence over the course of the last six years from turnaround to today being a Level 1+ school as a part of AUSL’s innovation zone in partnership with CPS.

To illuminate the elements of what has made AUSL successful, Friedman interviews researcher Nithin Iyengar, of the Bridgespan Group, who authored the recent study on in-district innovation zones that featured AUSL, among a handful of other organizations across the country, as a pioneer of a successful and sustainable alternative model to charter-run or district-run networks of public schools. Iyengar recognizes AUSL as being able to do what only 5% of other organizations have been able to do in successfully transforming student and school outcomes within a large public school district.

This story brings to life the concept of the innovation zone and AUSL’s work as the in-district innovation partner of CPS. While the story is largely accurate, AUSL does have active local school councils at each school and though philanthropic support is robust, annual fundraising efforts were overstated.

Also interviewed was a representative from the CTU who recognizes that “AUSL does a good job training teachers…in the classroom, that’s something that all schools should do…if it works there, it could work everywhere”. We wholeheartedly agree. Looking forward to this new year, we are committed to building upon this great foundation to continue to grow and scale our impact on student and school outcomes.