Tag Archives: Chicago

Chicago charter school Urban Prep has 100% college acceptance rate

From the Christian Science Monitor:

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.

There are I’m sure many lessons to  be taken from this one shining example of American secondary education. Others have already spoken well on the transformative capacity of the charter school model. But that’s not all that’s at work here. One less obvious lesson is that Urban Prep is active in one of the most vibrant debate leagues in America through the sanction of the Chicago Debate League.

Here is Alfred Snider with more:

Even more dramatically, in schools with 90% or more Title I students, participation in the CDL grew by 192%, almost tripling the number of debaters in one year. Moreover, a substantial portion of this growth is from returning schools, not simply the addition of new schools. Returning school growth adds to our overall participation numbers in a very cost-efficient manner.

Low-income students in Chicago are in greatest need of the transformative benefits of competitive academic debate. The Chicago Debate Commission focused a substantial share of its own human and organizational resources to build interest in debate in our schools with high Title I rates. Increasing the percentage of first-generation college students and decreasing the racial achievement gap are proven outcomes of the CDL’s research-driven intervention.

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On YDA 2009

Tomorrow I’ll be in in Chicago at the Young Democrats of America National Convention and will be (live)blogging about what I’m up to with the contingent from the University of Missouri-Columbia. I’ll also be suppporting the Chris Anderson/Rick Puig ticket as they present themselves for consideration for the presidential and vice-presential positions. I’ll follow later with a post about Anderson; for now I’d like to introduce my friend Rick Puig and his candidacy for vice president.

The story of how I met Rick is kind of boring, so I’ll skip that. What delegates voting at YDA should be familiar with is his academic and work record. Rick is one of 60-65 people who was awarded the Truman Scholarship , a very prestigious scholarship awarded by the Harry S Truman Scholarship Foundation in recognition of his exceptional commitment to public service. Here is the wiki on the Truman; the list of former recipients is fairly impressive.

Part of Rick’s work in the public sector has been for current US Senator Claire McCaskill (@ClaireCMC), current Missouri governor Jay Nixon, and current Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster. Those are fairly impressive credentials and should indicate to you that the people that Missouri has chosen to represent us both in the state government and on the national stage share my view that Rick is not only an exceptionally competent and intelligent person, but is also trustworthy and committed to public service.

Rick’s organizational work for YDA has also been impressive. He was formerly the president ofthe Missouri Young Democrats, and his organizational work in the South Central region was extremely meaningful in the last election cycle. Rick’s statement on his website is here.

I’ll be advocating strongly for Rick’s candidacy at the convention in Chicago. The position is a meaningful one; the Young Democrats of America face new challenges, both fiscal and political, as the next election cycle approaches. The goal here is to preserve the organization as a viable tool for democratic activism and youth mobilization and it’s my argument that Rick’s experience is a valuable thing for the Young Democrats of America to have.

We’ll see you in Chicago tomorrow; tonight I’ll be in my home city of St. Louis to see family and friends before our contingent heads to Chicago.

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Going to Chicago!

I’m leaving Wednesday for Chicago to attend a big emo convention the Young Democrats of America national convention. My friend Rick Puig is running for the Vice Presidency of the organization and I’ll blog later about what it means and why it’s important. If you have recommendations for restaurants and cultural things to do in Chicago, please leave them as comments on this post. I will be live tweeting and videoblogging from the conference and as I stumble around Chicago.

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