What is The Urban Assembly?

The Urban Assembly is a non-profit organization that creates and manages a community of New York City Public Schools dedicated to preparing students from under-resourced neighborhoods for success in four-year colleges.

We currently operate 20 small public high schools and junior high schools, serving over 4,500 students. Each school is organized around a central educational and professional theme that connects academic achievement, college and career. 



  • Our schools are located, by design, in neighborhoods where our predominantly low-income students would otherwise attend underperforming and failing schools.  In neighborhoods where truancy is epidemic, our attendance rate averages 90 percent.


    We do not screen applicants to select high achievers. Upon entering, many students perform below grade level in both math and reading. Our non-competitive admissions policy and community-based recruitment strategies produce a student population that averages 95 percent African American and Latino, and 5 percent Asian, Caucasian and Other. 



Approximately 90 percent of our seniors graduate and 86 percent are accepted by colleges, including highly selective schools such as Dartmouth, Smith, Brandeis and NYU. This contrasts with an average New York City public high school graduation rate of 58 percent and college acceptance rate of 38 percent.


Like charter schools, we enjoy considerable autonomy, which frees us to develop and implement innovative programs. Unlike charter schools, we work closely with public school teachers, principals, and their unions, because we recognize that systemic reform of the public school system cannot happen without their cooperation and contributions. Drawing on the talents and resources of the public as well as the nonprofit and private sectors, the best of all worlds, the Urban Assembly develops and maintains outstanding schools within New York City's public school system.