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. 

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.  

Two out of three 8th-graders can’t read proficiently. 

  • Ryan Fellow students grew faster then 65% of their national peers in reading in 2014-2015.

Nearly two-thirds of eighth-graders scored below proficient in math. (NAEP, 2011).

  • Ryan Fellow students grew faster than 67% of their national peers in math in 2014-2015.

Only one in four high school students graduate ready for college in all four core subjects (English, reading, math and science), which is why a third of students entering college have to take remedial courses. (ACT, 2011)

Only 4% of African American students and 11% of Hispanic students finish high school ready for college. (ACT, 2011)

  • Ryan Fellow 4th 3rd graders are projected to achieve a national rank of 95% in reading by 12th grade.
  • Ryan Fellow 4th graders are projected to achieve a national rank of 99% in math by 12th grade.

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 that with the right leaders, properly trained have the power to transform urban schools, and ultimately children’s lives. 

The Accelerate Institute Story

Driven by the possibility of closing the achievement gap

Accelerate Institute was founded over 20 years ago by Pat Ryan, Jr., after he served as an inner-city teacher 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

Chair
Pat Ryan, Jr., Founder, Accelerate Institute
Founder and CEO INCISENT Labs Group 

Members

Larry W. Gies
President and Chief Executive Officer, Madison Industries

Gregory K. Jones
Partner/COO, The Edgewater Funds

Bryant Keil 
Chairman of the Board, Potbelly Sandwich Works

Larry Levy 
Founder and Chairman, Levy Restaurants

Muneer Satter 
Founder and Chairman, Satter Investment Management

Joe Scoby 
Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer, Achievement Asset Management LLC

Brad Sullivan 
Managing Member, Broken Dice Trading and Research

Key Partnerships

CICS (Chicago International Charter Schools)

Alain Locke Charter School

Catalyst Charter Schools

Gestalt Community Schools

KIPP: NYC

KIPP: Memphis

Veritas College Prep

Grizzlies Prep

Building Excellent Schools

Shelby County iZone Schools

Cristo Rey Network

Big Shoulders Fund (Chicago)

Jubilee Schools (Memphis)

Schools That Can Milwaukee

Teach For America

City Leadership (Memphis)

New Memphis Institute

And many others!