About Us

Our mission? For nearly 30 years, the Institute for Student Achievement (ISA) has partnered with schools and districts to transform schools so that students who are traditionally underserved and underperforming graduate prepared for success in college and careers.

Gerard and Lilo LeedsIn 1990, philanthropists Lilo and Gerard Leeds founded ISA as a non-profit organization committed to improving the educational outcomes for underserved youth.

In 2001, ISA tapped NCREST, the National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University, as a strategic partner on the design, development, and implementation of ISA’s model. And in January 2013, Educational Testing Service (ETS) became the parent organization of ISA; through the mutual agreement of both boards, the two nonprofit organizations merged.Educational Testing Service

Our work is designed so that all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, socioeconomic status, class, linguistic diversity, and exceptionality are given intentional and equitable opportunities to learn and excel. In its work with schools and districts, ISA uses a capacity-building approach to address problems of practice and to focus on continuous improvement. We partner with educators to help:

  • Improve student academic achievement;
  • Enhance school leadership skills for implementing important organizational and instructional changes;
  • Support teaching and learning in the disciplines, as well as numeracy and literacy in the content areas;
  • And provide students with the social and emotional (non-academic) supports necessary for school success.

Our supports include: