Doug McCurry

Raise the Rigor: Five Tips to Push Student Thinking

By:Doug McCurry on September 18, 2013
Once, when I was at a conference, I met this guy who was passing out business cards trumpeting himself as the “Emperor of Rigor.” At the time, I thought he was a bit strange. Now, I want to track him down. In order to close the achievement gap, all...

Mr. McCurry, Why Are You Just a Teacher?

By:Doug McCurry on August 21, 2013
In today’s education debates, I have often heard public charter schools or the education reform movement in general labeled as “anti-teacher.” Nothing could be further from the truth at Achievement First. At the core of AF’s approach is a simple...

Op-Ed: Common Core Gives Gift of Clarity, Feedback

By:Doug McCurry on June 05, 2013
At Achievement First, we believe high expectations are key to academic success. In today's New Haven Register op-ed, Co-CEO and Superintendent Doug McCurry explains why all districts should embrace the Common Core. Here is an excerpt from the piece: ...

An Unwavering Focus on Student Achievement

By:Doug McCurry on February 06, 2013
Before No Child Left Behind, the discussion about equity in schools most often focused on inputs: per-pupil funding, class size, student-to-teacher ratios, books per student, computers per student, square feet of facility per student, average years...

However, Some Curricula Are Better Than Others (Part II of II)

on October 24, 2012
This is the second part of Co-CEO and Superintendent Doug McCurry's post about teachers and curricula. Read Part I here. In schools that have closed the achievement gap, there is a remarkable similarity of curricula. All these curricula are...

Teachers Are More Important Than Curricula (Part I of II)

on October 23, 2012
Alan Bersin, the former superintendent of San Diego Public Schools and one of the nation's most forward-thinking educational leaders, focused his school reform efforts around finding and cultivating great teachers. In speeches, he often said, “A...

"These Kids" CAN Learn

on May 10, 2012
In Connecticut, Achievement First’s 10th grade writing scores were ranked second in the state behind only Simsbury, with 100 percent of our scholars achieving proficiency and 92 percent achieving  at goal. On the New York eighth grade math test,...

How Does Achievement First Close the Achievement Gap? What Have We Learned?

on February 03, 2012
There are two ways to react to the stark statistics about the achievement gap: despair and excuses, or hope and action. Unfortunately, until recently, many have chosen the former. In fact, most of the educational community relied on the most famous...

Using Data in Education -- Lessons AF Has Learned From Cystic Fibrosis Care

By:Doug McCurry on January 05, 2010
In his book "Better," surgeon Atul Gawande writes about one small field in medicine that is light-years ahead of others in focusing on using data to improve performance: cystic fibrosis care. CF is a serious disease that attacks the body mainly by...