35 Years of Making a Meaningful Difference
Establishing Our Roots
In August 1977, Metis Associates was founded by Ben Josephson, Jr., Richard Pargament and Samuel Scharff, who had come from the Social Sciences Division of Riverside Research Institute. Our current president, Stan Schneider, joined one year later, having worked in school evaluation for the New York City Board of Education. Metis established its first contractual relationship with the New York City Board of Education in 1980. This project—a series of program evaluations for Community School District 18 in Brooklyn—was to lay the groundwork for a long and fulfilling partnership with the Board (now Department) of Education. It also led to another long-term collaboration, with the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), which started with the development of a competitive proposal for the Dial-A-Teacher program. With the success of that proposal, in 1982, a citywide initiative and national model was born.
Becoming a National Firm
Metis Associates' first contract with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, signed in 1988, set the stage for Metis to become a national organization with capacities in large-scale program evaluation, comprehensive community initiatives, and client-tracking systems. Its first project with Annie E. Casey was to support the New Futures Initiative, a multisite middle-school reform initiative. Recognizing Metis's capability to provide technical assistance in client-tracking and information systems, the foundation offers this service to many more of its grantees nationwide. In 1990, Metis wrote its first successful federal grant application for a school district—the Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) — awarded to New York City Community School District 1. Since then, Metis has successfully collaborated with urban, suburban, and rural school districts to secure 16 MSAP grants to open or convert some 70 elementary, middle, and high schools into theme-based magnets. In 1997, Metis opened its Atlanta office, which would become a catalyst for its growing work in Georgia and a base for expansion to other southern states, including North Carolina, Arkansas, and Florida.
Deepening Our Roots, Making New Connections
With the turn of the century came substantial growth for Metis, as the firm expanded its staff, its client base, and its physical premises. In 2000, Metis moved to 90 Broad Street, doubling its office space to accommodate a staff of 60 professionals. By this time, Metis was providing professional services to more than half of New York City's 32 Community School Districts and to the central Department of Education. With the retirement in 2006 of Metis cofounder Richard Pargament, Stan Schneider became president and chief executive officer.
During the past decade, Metis again expanded geographically, opening a new office in Philadelphia. The firm has also taken on a number of major clients, including several in the child-welfare arena. Metis has completed or is involved in more than half a dozen research and strategic-planning projects for the New York City Administration for Children's Services (ACS), and has done considerable work with the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative (JCYOI), which focuses on improving the prospects for children transitioning out of foster care. In 2008, Metis began an exciting new collaboration with its partner, Westat, evaluating programs for the New York City Mayor's Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO), a sweeping and nationally significant antipoverty initiative.
SETTING OUR SIGHTS FOR THE FUTURE
As Metis advances through the new decade, it continues to cultivate new and expand ongoing relationships in evaluation, information technology, and grant development. The firm's evaluation work manifests a growing emphasis on college and career readiness, arts education, community revitalization, and economic development. Its information technology work is breaking new ground in the creation and utilization of statewide information-management systems in K–12 and adult literacy education. And its grant development work continues to yield hundreds of millions of dollars for worthy school districts, community-based organizations, state education departments, and institutions of higher education. In September 2010 Metis moved into larger headquarters at the Association Center, 120 Wall Street, a flexible, transparent, and interactive environment that supports the very work ethic that it encourages in its many client relationships.
In 2012, Metis entered its 35th year of making a meaningful difference in the lives of the children, families, and communities that our clients serve. This significant milestone is a poignant reminder that the needs of society remain extremely urgent, and that Metis has a continuing obligation to provide high-quality service and thought leadership in the decades to come.