NYU Partnership Schools Program

Field Initiatives and Partnership Schools

NYU Partnership Schools Program

The NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development currently partners with 25 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. Build the partnerships on the basis of mutual self-interest and mutual service. Unless they satisfy over time the self-interest of both institutional partners, the partnerships are likely to fail.
  1. Build the partnerships to satisfy community interests too. The students of both institutions have interests at stake. So do the communities of New York City, and the professional communities in New York and beyond who depend on the Steinhardt School to add highly competent newcomers to their memberships.
  1. Build the partnerships on an experimental attitude. These should be environments for trying out new ways of teaching and learning by both partners.
  1. Build the partnerships on relationships and a determination to cultivate and seize opportunities. Many of the specific benefits of partnership cannot be spelled out in advance.
  1. Operate the partnerships on the basis of collective accountability. Make sure that each partner comes to value the success of the other partner’s students, and brings collective expertise to the task of helping ensure this success.
  1. Cluster partnership sites to help schools network with each other in order to spread expertise, and to enable joint activities in the education of teachers.
  1. Make the partnerships research environments. NYU professors need to do research, and want their research to be useful to urban schools. NYC teachers and principals have problems that research can address. Some would welcome the chance to collaborate in research.
  1. Work toward making the partnerships 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 partnership, to grow the partnerships sensibly, to communicate openly and regularly, to solve problems as they arise, to manage conflicts, to look for funding, and to 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