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Achievement First Overview

New Haven, CT
1001 to 5000 employees
School / School District
$1 to $5 million (USD) per year
Achievement First is a growing network of non-profit, high-performing, college-preparatory, K to 12 public charter schools in Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island. Achievement First was established in 2003 by the founders of Amistad Academy, a nationally acclaimed public ... Read more

Mission: The mission of Achievement First is to deliver on the promise of equal educational opportunity for all of America's children. We believe that all children, regardless of race or economic status, can succeed if they have access to a great education. Achievement ... Read more

Company Updates

  • We are thrilled to share that Achievement First job opportunities for the 2017-18 school year are now live at! Those interested can get in touch at to set up a call and learn more.

    Overview | Achievement First

    We're hiring across all of our geographies-Bridgeport, Hartford and New Haven, Connecticut; Brooklyn, New York; and Providence, Rhode Island. Click below for more information on our current job openings.

  • Bold. Unique. Brilliant. These are the teachers of Achievement First. #AFfashionweek is their story:

    AF Fashion Week

    It may not always be glamorous. There are no walks down the runway, and no paparazzi. But every day, our teachers bring their unique, bold, brilliant selves to their classrooms and light them up. Achievement First teachers do the most important work there is, and they do it with style.

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Achievement First Video

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Achievement First – Why Work For Us?


In 1998, a group of New Haven founders came together with a clear goal in mind: to prove that urban students can achieve at the same high levels as their affluent suburban counterparts. Confronted by the popular attitude that demographics were destiny, we decided that the best way to address the problem was to change the system.

We set out to create a public charter school—Amistad Academy—that would enable its students to achieve at high levels. Over the last 10 years, Amistad Academy has produced Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) results that have shattered the notion that "those kids can't learn." For the past seven years, Amistad Academy students—100 percent of whom are selected by blind lottery, 78 percent of whom receive free and reduced lunch and 98 percent of whom are African American or Hispanic—have beat state averages in reading and math, demonstrating that they can achieve on par with their wealthiest peers statewide.

In June 2003, we created a separate 501(c)3 non-profit, Achievement First, with the goal of using Amistad Academy's knowledge and best practices to have a greater impact. We opened the second school, Elm City College Preparatory, in 2004 and expanded the model to include elementary grades.

In fall 2005, under the leadership of New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, Achievement First expanded into Brooklyn. One of Klein's core reform strategies was to locate high-performing public charter schools in New York's lowest-performing districts. Achievement First opened two new schools in central Brooklyn—Achievement First Crown Heights Charter School and Achievement First East New York Charter School.

The Brooklyn network continued to grow in 2006 with the opening of Achievement First Bushwick Charter School and Achievement First Endeavor Charter School, followed in 2008 by Achievement First Brownsville. Thanks to changes in Connecticut charter law, we were also able to open Amistad Academy High School and Amistad Academy Elementary School, paving the way for Connecticut's first K to 12 public charter school. Achievement First's Connecticut network was able to expand into Bridgeport with a new middle school in 2007 and, in 2008, into Hartford with new elementary and middle schools. Our first Rhode Island school, Achievement First Providence Mayoral Academy Elementary, opened in August 2013.

Achievement First has grown into a network that includes 29 schools in five cities. In 1999, Amistad Academy opened with 84 fifth and sixth graders. Now, in the 2014-15 school year, Achievement First is serving 9,500 students in grades K to 12.

Greenfield Schools

Greenfield is a new school model designed to help develop the best prepared students in the world. Achievement First’s Greenfield schools will provide rigorous, high-quality instruction within a nurturing school community focused on developing self-motivated learners, problem-solvers and leaders. Students will benefit from more small group learning, greater access to technology, deep and meaningful enrichment opportunities (such as music, martial arts & STEM inventions), and extended field trips that allow students to go deeper in an area of interest and experience hands-on learning in more authentic and engaging ways.  

Achievement First Greenfield from Achievement First on Vimeo.

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Achievement First Co-CEO and President and Co-CEO and Superintendent Dacia Toll and Doug McCurry
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    I have been working at Achievement First full-time


    fun, exciting, enjoying, achieving, thrilling


    nothing but positive vibes for this community

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Achievement First Photos

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Achievement First Interviews

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    Teacher In Residence Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New Haven, CT
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview


    I applied through other source. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Achievement First (New Haven, CT) in January 2017.


    Before the interview I presented a lesson plan to a group of 6 teachers (this is usually done with students, but it was a testing week). After this I received feedback on what I did well. Later in the afternoon when I had the interview I received feedback on how I could have improved and practiced some of the skills on the spot. I was asked lots of questions reflecting on the presentation and why my areas of improvement were important in my teaching role and how improving on those areas would be beneficial in the future.

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