Well done. This is a perfect example of why the Dept of Education fears Charter Schools.
In Chicago, the graduation rate for African-American boys is about 40 percent, and only about half of all students are accepted to some form of college. The chances of young black men going to college – particularly young men from the poorest neighborhoods – are not good.But the Urban Prep charter school, located in the city’s tough Englewood neighborhood, has produced a very different statistic. In March, this school, which is made up of young African-American men, announced that all 107 boys in its first graduating class have been accepted to a four-year college. Just 4 percent of those seniors were reading at grade level as freshmen.
It’s a remarkable achievement for any urban high school, but particularly one with a population that some people are inclined to write off. It has educators examining what aspects of the school are responsible – and how replicable they are.
Some elements are easy to quantify: an extended school day that means students have an additional 72,000 minutes in school each year, a double period of English, and required extracurriculars and public service.
But many more elements seem embedded into a culture that is based on four R’s, as founder and CEO Tim King describes it: ritual, respect, responsibility, and relationships.