The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) operates one of the largest nongovernmental school systems in the Middle East. Palestine refugees in UNRWA schools are achieving higher-than-average learning outcomes in spite of the adverse circumstances they live under. This study uses a mixed methods research approach to address the complexity of the research question and its exploratory nature, namely, How do UNRWA schools continually and consistently outperform public schools? This study used the following data collection techniques: econometric techniques to analyze learning achievement data from international and national assessments; the Systems Approach for Better Education Results tools were used to assess different system components, such as teacher effectiveness, school autonomy, and student assessments; Stallings classroom observations provided a structured method to compare teachers' and students' interactions; qualitative data collected through interviews captured the lived experiences of a sample of students. Contrary to what might be expected from a resource-constrained administration serving refugee students who continually face a multitude of adversities, UNRWA students outperform public schools in the three regions-- West Bank and Gaza and Jordan-- by a year's worth of learning. The achievement is a result of the way these schools recruit, prepare, and support teachers; because of instructional practices and pedagogy in the classroom; and because of school leadership, accountability, and mutual support. This has created a distinguished learning community centered on the student. Of note: • UNRWA selects, prepares, and supports its education staff to pursue high learning outcomes. • Time-on-task is high in UNRWA schools, and is used more effectively than in public schools.