Thursday, January 15, 2009

How to turn Obama's success into gains for black boys

An outstanding editorial in the USA Today last week about how to turn Obama's success into gains for black boys, which mentions both KIPP as well as one of the REACH schools, Frederick Douglass Academy:

Learn from successful schools

Few African-African boys have access to elite private schools such as Washington's Sidwell Friends, where the Obama girls started classes Monday. But several inner-city schools are showing impressive results. At the Key Academy in Washington, D.C., a charter that is part of the successful KIPP group, black boys arrive in fifth grade reading two grades behind the girls. By seventh grade, they pull even. Their success is related to a persistent focus on literacy skills, even in science and math classes.

At New York's Frederick Douglass Academy, a regular public school where two-thirds of the students qualify for the free lunch program, students take courses that rival the rigor of anything offered in the best suburban schools, and nearly all go on to college.

Nice plugs for Arne Duncan and NCLB as well:

Obama has signaled that he intends to be more than a role model. His biggest education issue, ramping up the federal role in offering high-quality preschools, could have a huge impact on black boys, especially if he launches research into making preschools work as well for boys as they do for girls.

The president-elect's promise to double funding for effective charter schools such as KIPP mirrors reform efforts in Chicago, where his choice to become the federal Education secretary, Arne Duncan, served as schools chief for the past seven years.

Most important, Obama has resisted calls from the teachers' unions to dismantle President Bush's No Child Left Behind school-reform law. Whatever the law's shortcomings, No Child's relentless emphasis on data forces school districts to come clean about the poor job they have done with black boys.


How to turn Obama's success into gains for black boys

USA Today editorial, 1/6/09

You can see the message on brick wall murals in inner cities: Yes we can. You can hear it in the music of Black Eyed Peas' frontman Yes we can.


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