About AES

Associates for Educational Success

 We Collaborate to Customize; Complement, not Compete!

 Associates for Educational Success carries with it a track record of successfully transforming schools and districts using mathematics as our content focus.  Our three tier professional development model of developing leadership, teachers and students has proven to be highly effective in transforming systems and increasing the academic achievement of students. Associates for Educational Success (AES) consultants also include some of the state’s best literacy, technology, science, and art consultants.

 About our Co-Founders

The founders of Associates for Educational Success, Marco Ramirez and Chris Confer, have been providing professional development services as a company since 2006. Each brings over 20 years of coaching leaders, teachers, and instructional coaches to maximize student achievement. Chris and Marco have worked with Marilyn Burns Educational Associates (Math Solutions), the Arizona Department of Education, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the National Science Foundation, and the National Research Council, developing mathematics standards, assessments, and international research colloquiums.

In addition to Chris’s 30 years of service in public education at school and central office levels, she has published four books on K-5 mathematics instruction. She also contributed the lead article to a book of articles for math coaches: The Math Coach Field Guide, and is a popular workshop presenter at national conferences.

Marco Ramirez’s focus on instructional leadership won him the Milken Award as a principal in 2006 for his transformational work at a high poverty school. He has served as a Wallace Principal Coach for Arizona providing

Check out our newest book!

Check out our newest book!

coaching and staff development for principals, and published an essay with NCTM on teaching English Language Learners.  His work as a leader has involved decades of continuous classroom instruction in mathematics leading to the development of strategic tools for leadership and classroom instruction.

Together Chris and Marco moved a high poverty multi-lingual school from Underperforming to Highly Performing in mathematics and in literacy. This school became a benchmark school for all schools in Arizona, as measured by an independent research firm using Arizona’s assessment systems. The school’s data remained at high levels for over a decade—while Chris and Marco’s structures remained in place.

Chris and Marco’s practical and effective principles for school change are outlined in their newest book Small Steps, Big Changes: Eight Essential Practices for Transforming Schools Through Mathematics.

The data that Associates for Educational Success produces has been significant:

Pueblo Gardens Elementary School, a high-poverty school with 96% of students who receive free lunch, moved from Underperforming to Highly Performing and became a bench

mark school for the state of Arizona.

PG 96 and 94

In 2008 Pueblo Gardens’ Grade 3 students met and exceeded the standard at 97%, Grade 4 at 95% and Grade 5 at 78%. Of the 20 other district schools that we worked with in 2008, all but one school improved their mathematics scores.

More importantly, principals reported that teacher renewal and commitment in teaching mathematics soared, and became a critical component for systemic change and sustainability. “Student confidence in mathematics has significantly increased,” a principal said, and most principals were pleased to report the numbers of students and teachers who came to love math. 

Marco and Chris are proud to report that schools with second language learners, schools with students of poverty, schools with high socio-economic status, and schools with diverse cultures have experienced significant increases in academic achievement, using AES services and systems of leadership, teaching, and content priorities.


The performance of the organization that Chris and Marco have developed with their associates continues to produce significant changes in the data of schools as measured by state assessments.

 Last year AES helped 4 Arizona schools move out of a D rating:

 Arizona State Report Cards 2012-2013

  • From D to B: Ochoa Elementary School
  • From D to C: Borman K-8 School
  • From D to C: Manzo Elementary School
  • From D to C: McCorkle K-8 Academy of Excellence
  • From C to B (Missing A by only 2 points): Warren Elementary School

 Associates for Educational Success collaborates with clients to develop customized workshops and school improvement support.

 Associates for Educational Success has a unique ability to offer quality support to schools in Leadership and Instruction, which leads to sustainable changes in schools. As one district leader put it, “The school is not the same school it was a year ago!” All  AES consultants are dedicated to making sure that the steps and processes that are used are tailored to the uniqueness and talent base of the schools.  A systemic assessment is the first step of the process for which support is given.  AES uses a collaborative approach, which is a key factor to the success of the work. The processes that AES uses are described in Small Steps, Big Changes: Eight Essential Practices for Transforming Schools Through Mathematics, a popular book which is used as a resource for school professional development.

Associates for Educational Success has supported a wide range of districts in Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation, and across the nation.

Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, Associates for Educational Success currently has projects throughout Tucson, Phoenix, Southern Arizona, Northern Arizona, New Mexico, California, Utah, and Texas. Not only does AES have the capacity to significantly impact schools, but it has proven tools, the knowledge, the will, and the spirit to make this journey collaborative, supportive and successful!

We look forward to collaborating with you!

Please contact us at info@mathpd.com for more information.

Marco and Emma Planning067

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