Office of Education


Beat the Odds School Leadership Academy

Beat the Odds School Leadership AcademyBeat the Odds School Leadership AcademyBeat the Odds School Leadership Academy

Great Schools, Great Leaders!

"There is no question that great schools are led by great leaders. This initiative recognizes the critical link between a strong principal, a strong teacher, and student achievement. It is my hope that, through our partnership with the Center for the Future of Arizona, Helios Education Foundation, and the Burton Family Foundation, we can unlock the potential in all public schools in Arizona, especially in those communities where students will most benefit from strong leadership."

Governor Doug Ducey, September 2016

Research has shown that that there can be no great schools without great school leaders. With the committment to making a difference for low income, low-achieving Latino students in Arizona, the Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) set out to answer the question -- What does it take to get great results in schools with mostly low income, mostly Latino students? The results of their 2006 study led to the creation of the Beat the Odds (BTO) principal program in 2007 which to date has provided training and mentoring to more than 200 school leaders.

With the strong support from Governor Ducey and investments from Helios Education Foundation and the Burton Family Foundation, CFA is now expanding the success of the BTO program through a collaboration with the National Institute for School Leadership (NISL). Together the two programs will create the Beat the Odds School Leadership Academy. By integrating BTO’s principal mentorship model with NISL’s nationally recognized research based principal training program, the Leadeship Academy is set to become a strong program that can serve aspiring and current school leaders across the state

Identified through a competitive application process, CFA established an outstanding cadre of Arizona NISL certified facilitators. These select individuals will become nationally certified NISL facilitators, leading training and providing mentoring as leaders who understand education in Arizona and are recognized in the field. The Arizona NISL facilitators are a diverse group with significant experience and expertise. Backgrounds include Rodel Exemplary Principals, National Blue Ribbon, charter and traditional public school leaders, A for Arizona leaders, Beat the Odds Mentors, and Teach for America alumni.

CFA will begin delivering NISL training through the BTO School Leadership Academy to cohorts of aspiring and current school leaders in fall of 2017.

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