Equity-Focused, Improving Student Outcomes
The Academy for Urban School Leadership is a nonprofit organization that provides equity-focused programming to improve educational outcomes for students in underinvested communities.
Twenty years ago, Mike Koldyke envisioned that aspiring teachers in a year-long residency program would stay in our city’s most under resourced schools. In partnership with former CPS CEO Arne Duncan and experienced westside CPS principal Don Feinstein, a new model for teacher preparation was developed.
Through our nationally-recognized Teacher Residency Program, AUSL recruits and trains diverse teachers with the passion and skillset to serve long-term in under-resourced communities. Through AUSL Advisory Services and their Liberated Way approach, we leverage two decades of success transforming schools to help schools and school districts across the country.
Our holistic school model allows schools across the nation to support their teachers, staff, and students.
We manage a network of Chicago Public Schools, increasing educational access through private-public partnerships.
Managing Director, External Relations
Donald Feinstein, Ph.D.
Chief of Schools
Managing Director, Teaching & Learning
Board of Directors
Managing Director at Moelis & Company
Vice President of Boeing Global Engagement, The Boeing Company
James E. Cowie*
President & Chief Executive Officer, Collegis Education
Co-Head of Global Investment Banking, Robert W. Baird & Co.
Donald Feinstein, Ph.D.*
Executive Director, AUSL
President and Chief Operating Officer, ITsavvy
Senior Vice President of Management Liability, Alliant/Mesirow Insurance Services
Senior Vice President of Global Youth and Education, Special Olympics
Martin J. Koldyke*
Founder and Chair Emeritus, AUSL
Robert E. King***
Salt Creek Ventures, LLC
Lefkofsky Family Foundation
Former Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Education
Chief Human Resources Officer, Workhuman
Director, Community Impact, Aon
Chicago Managing Partner, Winston & Strawn LLP
President and Co-Founder, Wasson Enterprise
* Members of the executive committee
** Honorary Director
Our core values
In 2001, Martin (Mike) Koldyke worked with Arne Duncan and Dr. Donald Feinstein to develop the Chicago Teacher Residency, an innovative model of teacher training
This program provided Chicago Public School with high-quality teachers prepared to succeed within the demanding conditions of under-invested schools. In 2006, to better serve the needs of Chicago’s students, AUSL expanded its operations to include school management. CPS selected AUSL to implement a revolutionary model of whole school transformation at Sherman Elementary located in the Englewood neighborhood on Chicago’s southside. Today, Sherman is a Level 1 school, on the district’s School Quality Rating Performance score, and they’re not alone. AUSL now manages schools on the city’s south and west sides.