Center For The Future Of Arizona Launches The Beat The Odds School Leadership Academy

Posted on April 26, 2017 • Category: The Education We Need




New resource available to deliver executive training to school leaders in Arizona to improve school performance and student achievement

The Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) today announced the launch of its Beat The Odds School Leadership Academy, a new resource available to traditional public school districts and charter school networks across the state.

CFA leads the Beat The Odds School Leadership Academy and administers the program to enrolled participants. Executive training is delivered by a cadre of 20 proven school leaders from Arizona who are nationally certified to deliver training to current and aspiring principals.

There is a critical link between a strong principal and student success. In fact, principals account for nearly 25% of a school’s total impact on student achievement.

The BTO academy aligns with Governor Doug Ducey’s “Great Schools, Great Leaders” initiative to close the achievement gap and improve the quality of education in Arizona.

Governor Doug Ducey stated, “Collaboration between the public and private sector is critical to finding solutions for improving the quality of Arizona’s education system. Investing in the effectiveness of school leaders will have a long-lasting impact on our school system as a whole, creating better experiences for teachers and preparing student learners to reach their fullest potential.”

“The BTO academy provides a platform for making systematic changes to education in Arizona and for creating a culture in schools that will allow our teachers and students to be successful,” said Dr. Lattie Coor, Chairman and CEO, Center for the Future of Arizona. “For nearly a decade CFA has mentored and trained K-12 principals. Our BTO academy is the continuation of that commitment and is designed to show principals how to transform their schools by charting a strategic course of action tied to improving learning outcomes for all students. We are excited to move forward with the next phase of our program, and are appreciative of the enduring support of Governor Ducey, and from our nonprofit partners Helios Education Foundation and the Burton Family Foundation, for enabling us to provide this resource to Arizona school districts and their emerging school leaders.”

Phoenix Union High School District (PUHSD) is the first school district to utilize the BTO academy and is currently investing in leadership training for 15 of its principals and district administrators, in addition to eight school leaders from its partnering K-8 school districts. Phoenix Union is one of the largest high school districts in the country, with 17 schools, over 27,000 students, and nearly 3,000 employees.

The BTO academy is a collaboration that brings together CFA’s successful Arizona-based principal mentorship model and the National Institute for School Leadership’s Executive Development Program (EDP)—the most rigorous and widely-used executive development program for school leaders in the country.

How BTO academy impacts Arizona schools

  • Equips leaders to lead for excellence and equity–for all learners, in every community.
  • Draws on the best practice of Arizona’s high-performing schools to show principals models of success that will have a positive impact in their schools.
  • Helps to close student achievement gaps and creates a culture of high expectations in schools.
  • Aids in building a pipeline for leadership talent within schools and school districts while enhancing teacher recruitment, retention and quality.

What enrolled participants can expect

The Beat The Odds School Leadership Academy is a sustainable program developed and led by the Center for the Future of Arizona.

Program Curriculum:

  • Nationally researched, evidence-based and locally delivered in a cohort model.
  • Improves the practice of leadership, transforms instruction and student achievement in schools.
  • Coursework spans strategic leadership, standards-based educational systems and instructional practices in math, English, history and science.
  • Consists of 12 two-day units, delivered in 12 to 15 months.
  • Bridged with online coursework, reading and job-embedded application of key concepts.

“The Beat the Odds School Leadership Academy is a great example of a public/private partnership that is providing strategic investment in leadership training for principals,” said Paul Luna, President and CEO, Helios Education Foundation.  “We believe the focus on leadership training will help improve school performance, address student achievement gaps and create a culture of high expectations for Arizona students.”

“Research shows that great principals produce better student outcomes," said Jason Dougal, Chief Executive Officer, National Institute for School Leadership (NISL). “From bolstering retention of our best educators and improving teaching quality, to fostering more effective learning environments and making a meaningful impact on achievement for all students, investing in school leaders drives improvement throughout schools. NISL's partnership with the Center for the Future of Arizona is uniquely equipped to deliver the country's foremost executive-level professional development throughout Arizona and raise the bar for students across the state.”

Enrollment for the Beat The Odds School Leadership Academy is now open. School leaders can find out more by contacting the Center for the Future of Arizona. Learn more about CFA’s program.


Center for the Future of Arizona
541 East Van Buren, B-5
Phoenix, Arizona 85004-2211
Phone: 602-496-1360
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