In spring 2006, Mayor Thomas M. Menino challenged the presidents of Boston College, Boston University, Harvard University, Northeastern University, and Tufts University to join the Boston Public Schools (BPS) in their efforts to close the achievement gap. The universities responded by designing and launching Step UP, a partnership with BPS and the City of Boston that harnesses universities’ expertise, intellectual resources, and substantial experience in public education outreach to deliver targeted services to ten selected Boston schools.

Step UP recognizes that a child’s ability to learn can be affected by a variety of factors, both in the classroom and outside of school. To help improve student performance, Step UP provides comprehensive, coordinated services in response to needs identified by ten schools in Boston.

Guiding Principles & Goals

Step UP Partners commit to:

  • Developing goals aligned with district priorities, Step UP school needs, and university capacity;
  • Furthering the mission of each stakeholder;
  • Building, sharing and institutionalizing effective models of practice; and
  • Communicating the outcomes and lessons learned from their efforts to partner with and strengthen the Boston Public Schools.

Step Up has four over arching goals to:

  • Increase the capacity of Step UP Principals and school faculty to use data to inform meaningful instruction;
  • Support the Step UP schools’ efforts to improve student performance in Literacy and Math;
  • Support Step UP schools to better address the non-academic barriers to student success and achievement; and
  • Strengthen the leadership and organizational capacity of all Step UP stakeholders to effectively collaborate and implement the Initiative.

Step UP is overseen by an Executive Director and a Board of Directors. A steering committee meets monthly to coordinate activities among the five universities.

Thomas M. Menino
Mayor, City of Boston

Karen Daniels
Executive Director

Board of Directors
Joseph E. Aoun
President, Northeastern University

Robert A. Brown
President, Boston University

Drew Gilpin Faust
President, Harvard University

Carol R. Johnson, ex officio
Superintendent, Boston Public Schools

William P. Leahy, S.J.
President, Boston College

Anthony P. Monaco
President, Tufts University

Steering Committee
Boston College
Jeanne Levesque
Joseph O’Keefe
Catherine Wong

Boston University
Doug Sears
Ruth Shane
Susan Tomassetti

Harvard University
Paige Lewin
Joan Matsalia
Kevin McCluskey
Lisa Moellman

Northeastern University
Claire Duggan
Robert Gittens
Christos Zahopoulos

Tufts University
Andrea Grossman
Natalie Hagel
Mary Jeka