History | New Visions for Public Schools
History banner


Since it first opened its doors in 1989, New Visions for Public Schools has acted with the belief that educational improvement requires everyone involved -- the public school system, government, businesses, community groups, parents and students -- to work harder and do better together with a focus on improving student achievement. While some questioned the possibility of success in a school system as vast and complex as ours, others knew that improvement was not an option; it was a necessity.

The link between a quality education and quality of life cannot be disputed. Educational quality not only defines the options that enable children to lead healthy and productive lives, it determines the economic and cultural success of our city.

New Visions for Public Schools has worked with every district in New York City in nearly 800 schools with hundreds of thousands of students, parents, teachers and community members. For more than 20 years, New Visions has improved the educational opportunities of students through multiple strategies, including:

Creating new schools

  • New Visions created 134 small schools throughout New York City;
  • We secured additional funds from the New York City Council for building improvements to schools.

Working with communities

  • New Visions mobilized 225 community groups, institutions and businesses to support New Visions' schools;
  • We engaged parents through bilingual workshops and parent-centered publications focused on getting students ready for college. 

Developing innovative solutions

  • New Visions initiated a highly successful school improvement model that links leadership certification to increasing student performance;
  • We launched the Urban Teacher Residency, a teacher recruitment, preparation and retention initiative based on the medical residency model;
  • We pioneered a principal mentoring program and mentored more than 600 principals in their first year of service;
  • We created new data tools for students, parents and teachers to measure progress toward graduation.

Taking reforms to scale

  • The New York City Department of Education adopted New Visions' school creation model, resulting in the opening of more than 200 new schools;
  • Boston and Oakland, Calif., launched leadership certification programs based on New Visions' model;
  • The New York City Leadership Academy and Palm Beach County, Fla., adopted New Visions' principal mentoring strategy;
  • The New York City Department of Education instituted a school improvement strategy (called "inquiry teams") based on New Visions' model.