Director's message

The achievement gap in our country is stark and it is persistent. A student living in poverty may be two to three grades behind more affluent peers in academics. Almost one-half of students from low-income, minority, and English language learning populations still end up dropping out of school.

At the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership (CEL), we find that unacceptable.

We know every student can succeed. We know every student must succeed if America is to be a thriving, competitive nation in the global economy.

We also know the difficulty involved in building an education system that assures success for every child. 

How do you raise academic expectations for historically underserved students? How do leaders get system-wide buy-in for equity-driven decisions? What strategies can teachers use to help a diverse array of students not only master standards but learn to argue ideas, to analyze, to engage deeply in subject matter?

At CEL, we’re helping clients address these hard questions with research-based, field-tested programs and services. They’re designed with one goal in mind: To close the achievement gap.

CEL is a service arm of the University of Washington College of Education, a “top ten” public school of education. Our expert faculty, staff, and consultants work at every level of a district, from coaching in the classroom to supporting deep instructional leadership in the central office.

We bring with us a wealth of experience, gleaned from our work in state education offices, school and district administrator offices, and K-12 and college classrooms.

Our core beliefs:

  • With high-quality instruction, every student, regardless of race, class, language, or disability, can succeed

  • Instructional quality can only improve if leaders know what good teaching looks like and act on that knowledge

  • Every policy, practice, and structure in a district must support excellent instruction

  • Improving instruction should be a collaborative, system-wide endeavor

Join us in our mission to eliminate the achievement gap.


Max Silverman
Executive Director
University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership