Thirteen years of support for great instruction
ANet was founded over a decade ago in response to the need expressed by educators for timely, practical, actionable data on student learning.
Listening to educators
In 2004, recent Harvard Graduate School of Education graduates Marci Cornell-Feist and John Maycock began talking to a number of Boston-area charter schools about what they needed to help all their students achieve at the highest levels. What they heard, repeatedly, was teachers’ frustration with the assessments available to them: They weren’t as rigorous as the state summative tests; and results arrived too late for teachers to take action in response.
As an article in Education Next describes, educators said “they needed better assessments, better data, and help understanding how to use the information…They wanted assessments that would serve as an instructional tool and not another gotcha mechanism to punish teachers.” They also felt isolated, unable to collaborate with or benefit from the perspective of other educators tackling similar challenges.
A responsive organization, shaped by what’s working
In 2005, Marci and John began to build a team with the knowledge and skills to address educators’ needs. When they learned that the kind of assessments teachers envisioned simply didn’t exist, they recruited educators with expertise in assessment design and deep content knowledge. This team developed ANet’s unique assessments and refined them, year after year, with new information about the standards and input from teachers, leaders, and like-minded organizations.
They also developed our coaching program, in which specially-trained educators work alongside school leaders to implement best practices that ANet has learned from its partner schools.
Over time, more specialists joined ANet to enhance our ability to support our partners with an array of teacher-requested tools and resources and professional development. And we introduced district and CMO consulting to respond to the need we heard to help systems foster strong practice across schools.
A partner, not a vendor
We’re now 180 people strong—the vast majority former teachers and school/district leaders—all dedicated to helping schools boost student achievement in over 700 schools.
Our work is funded primarily through fees from our partners, but every school receives a partial subsidy thanks to our supporters. School and district partners cover roughly 80% of the cost to deliver our services, while the remaining 20% comes from philanthropic sources.