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History

Born of the dream of achieving equity in public education, NYU Metro Center was founded in 1978 by NYU Professor LaMar P. Miller. Miller's vision was to examine and find solutions for the problems facing the country's public schools, especially as they affect low-income and minority children.

Subsequent to Dr. Miller, Dr. Pedro Noguera--over the course of 12 years--grew the center and advanced its mission and work, forging NYU Metro Center into one of the nation's leading organizations committed to educational equity and school transformation.    

Today, NYU Metro Center is nationally and internationally renowned for its work on educational equity and school improvement. It brings together scholars, educators, and innovators from diverse backgrounds to collaborate on a range of projects to strengthen and improve access, opportunity, and educational quality across varied setting, but particularly in striving communities.

The Center also boasts a broad and bold research agenda that touch topics ranging from girls and juvenile justice to the education, language, and literacy of men and boys of color. Research activities also include (but are not limited to) topics on the impacts of poverty on student learning, multilingual education, school climate and discipline, disproportionality, gender identity and gender presentation, restorative justice, PBIS, RTI, culturally relevant education, "over-the-counter" students, SIFE/SLIFE, abilities and special education, diversity and integration, and so on. 

Throughout its history, NYU Metro Center has been dedicated to the pursuit of academic excellence and social justice for all children. For nearly four decades, NYU Metro Center has been a partner and resource for schools and school districts throughout the U.S. and beyond, including in Detroit, Denver, Houston, Pittsburgh, San Juan, Washington, D.C., and Wilmington. Its professional development programs prepare teachers, school leaders and staff, and parents to improve school culture and climate, reduce referrals to special education, and better support the unique needs of students, such as emergent bilingual students, students across a range of abilities, LGBTQIA children and youth, and students from vulnerable backgrounds. Its research initiatives inform the policy and intervention communities on how educational reforms will impact the most vulnerable populations in and beyond our school systems.

NYU Metro Center continues today under the visionary leadership of Dr. David E. Kirkland.

Historical Timeline

Mid-1970s

Professor LaMar P. Miller petitioned Dean Griffiths, dean of the New York University School of Education, Health, Nursing, and Arts Professions, to create Metro Center.
 

1976

Metro Center began operations under a Teacher Corps grant from the U.S. Department of Education
 

1978

Metro Center formally recognized as a part of SEHNAP
New York University's School of Education, Health, Nursing and Arts Professions
 

1981

Metro Center establishes Desegregation Assistance Center (Now known in USDOE as the Equity Assistance Centers) created under a $62,000 grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education.
 

1983

Metro Center, through its newly created executive council, began a tradition of honoring corporate executives for their services to urban youth and schools. Its first "Torch of Learning Award" was awarded to William M Ellinghaus, president, chief executive officer and director of American Telephone and Telegraph Company.
 

1984

Metro Center began its four decade tracking of the 1954 Supreme Court Decision of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas through a series of National Invitational Conferences. Principals in the court decision, Robert L. Carter and Kenneth Clark, were speakers.
 

1985

Metro Center initiated Stay in School, a 10-year partnership with select New York City Public Schools to help students achieve their full potential
 

1986

Metro Center initiates a stay-in-school partnership project at Bushwick, Seward Park, Sarah Hale, and Prospect high schools. Steinhardt School of Education graduate students tutor high school students on a one-to-one basis.
 

1989

Metro Center produced a television program based on a commissioned committee study: The State of the Black Male in the Public School System.  Lee Daniels, journalist of The New York Times, facilitated the television program.
 

1991

Metro Center helped design the Teacher Opportunity Corp (TOC) program with the New York State Education Department (NYSED)
 

1992

Metro Center was awarded a TOC grant to develop a cooperative teacher-training program in collaboration with Brookhaven National Lab and NYU's Department of Teaching and Learning in the School of Education.
 

1994

Metro Center produced "Brown Plus Forty: The Promise," second in a series of National Invitational Conferences tracking Brown v. Board of Education.
 

1995

The New York Technical Assistance Center (NYTAC), a regional comprehensive center, was founded with funding from the U.S. Department of Education to work with state and local educational agencies providing professional, research-based technical assistance to educators.
 

1996

Metro Center changed its name from Metropolitan Center for Research and Development and Training to Metropolitan Center for Urban Education.
 

1997

Metro Center partners with 1199 SEIU Childcare and Youth Services to provide college and career services for students of 1199 members.
 

1999

Metro Center awarded a contract to Mount GearUp Program at the Choir Academy in Harlem.
 

1998-2001

Metro Center was awarded a Safe and Drug-Free Schools data project grant.
 

2002

John Sexton, president of New York University, recruited Dr. Pedro Noguera from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where Dr. Noguera was the Judith K. Dimon Professor of Communities and Schools.
 

2004

Metro Center produced "Brown Plus Fifty: A Renewed Agenda for Social Justice," third in a series of national invitational conferences tracking Brown v. Board of Education, dedicated to Judge Robert L. Carter.

Dr. Pedro Noguera named Executive Director of Metro Center.
 

2005-2006

Metro Center begins its Extended Day Program to enrich academic achievement for elementary school students.
 

2006

Metro Center subcontracts with New York City Department of Education to operate a 5 year Asian Bilingual Technical Assistance Center.
 

2006

Metro Center receives a 5 year New York State Contract to operate a Spanish Bilingual Technical Assistance Center.
 

2006

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded a landmark, three-year study on Black and Latino males in single-sex schools.
 

2007

Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank funded APEX Scholars program.
The Adolescent Post-secondary Education Exchange (APEX) Scholars program provides on-site mentoring and a Saturday program to promote college readiness.

The Upward Bound program was funded by U.S. Dept. of Education for an additional five years.
 

2009

Pedro Noguera appointed Inaugural Chair Peter Agnew Professor.
 

2009

June 2009, funding was received from the Ford Foundation, the Victoria Foundation, and the Prudential Foundation to develop an initiative, Broader Bolder Approach, in Newark, NJ.
 

2010

The Nathan Cummings Foundation supports the establishment of a Hip Hop Education Program at Metro Center.
 

2011

The Newark Education Trust cites NYU’s Metro Center’s initiatives in Newark (Newark Global Village Zone) on its list for top 11 for 2011.
 

2012

Pedro Noguera announces a name change for Metro Center, “that more accurately reflects the future and current work of this center.” The center is renamed as the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools (Metro Center).
 

2012

Metro Center receives a 5 year contract to develop and operate a Liberty Partnerships Program to provide services to high school students who are at risk of dropping out of school and to motivate students to complete high school and to seek entry into postsecondary institutions.
 

2013

Dr. Noguera expands the Center's reach by inviting faculting partners to join the Center.
 

2013

The Metro Center expands its focus to include work on the international level.
 

2013

Professor Pedro Noguera partners with Professor Hirokazu Yoshikawa to codirect The Institute on Global Education.
 

2013

The Autism Spectrum Disorder program (ASD Nest) joins Metro Center family.
 

2015

New York University/Steinhardt Metro Center and the New York State Education Department Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages re-established the NYS Statewide Language Regional Bilingual Education-Resource Network (a.k.a. the Language RBE-RN) through a five-year contract starting July 1, of 2015 and ending on June 30, 2020.
 

2015

Dr. David E. Kirkland, former inaugural Executive Director of Center for Applied and Inclusive Teaching and Learning in Arts and Humanities at Michigan State, assumes leadership role at NYU Metro Center as Executive Director.
 

2016

The New York City Council appropriates funding to NYU Metro Center to pilot a resource center for school diversity.
 

2017

David E. Kirkland, Executive Director, expands NYU Metro Center’s reach through seven strategic partnerships.