Field Initiatives and Partnership Schools

NYU Partnership Schools Program

The NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development currently partners with 24 New York City schools serving poverty-impacted students, and it works with these partners to enrich curriculum and services for students, to support continuing professional development of the schools’ teachers, and to jointly prepare new teachers and other school professionals.


  1. Make learning central to the Partnership: student learning, adult learning, and institutional learning.  Evaluate the Partnership on the basis of whether and how it expands all three.
  1. Search continually for mutual interests and opportunities for mutual service.  For example, teacher preparation programs need good placements for learning to teach, and schools need a steady supply of well-prepared teachers.  Students need to meet artists, and artists need places to perform.
  1. Make sure the Partnership satisfies community interests too.  For example, a university’s involvement can sometimes make a positive difference in solving a community problem, and a school’s strong community ties can often enrich a university’s teaching and research.
  1. Keep an experimental attitude at the heart of thePartnership.  Be willing always to consider partners’ interests in trying something new.  Remember that the benefits of partnering cannot always be spelled out in advance.
  1. Build the Partnership on multiple relationships and collective accountability.
  1. Ensure networking among partner schools to spread expertise, and foster joint activities.
  1. Make the partnerships research environments. NYU professors need to do research, and want their research to be useful. NYC teachers and principals have problems that research can address. Some would welcome the chance to collaborate in research.
  1. Work toward making the Partnership a set of career pathways. Expect that some NYU students who tutor in partner schools will stay on to intern there, and even take their first professional jobs there. Expect that some partnership school teachers will teach at NYU.
  1. Expect inter-institutional friction, and provide skillful intermediaries who feel at home in the different worlds of school and university, and can interpret between worlds.
  1. Develop collaborative management vehicles to take on the many tasks of partnering, grow the Partnership sensibly, communicate openly and regularly, solve problems as they arise, look collectively for funding opportunities, and learn from partnership successes and failures.

This partnership was formally launched in 2004, with a major grant from the Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation. The schools are concentrated on New York’s Lower East Side, and in the South Bronx and East Harlem – all historically underserved neighborhoods educationally. Read our Historical documents.

Contact information

Rosa Riccio Pietanza
Partnership Schools Coordinator