Seventy-eight percent of the high school’s students qualify for free or reduced lunch, which indicates a high level of poverty for a district. And until the recent focus on setting the bar equally high for all students, they had the lowest college going rate. But the focus on helping every student select the appropriate college-ready courses has improved their graduation and college-going rate dramatically.
Students feel inspired by the attitude that all students were expected to rise to the occasion and would inevitably persevere. “It was the way [the principal] talked to us, like we actually had a chance…There wasn’t any doubt in her voice,” one student explained.
To many of us who believe in the value of setting high standards for all students, regardless or family income, or zip code, this story sounds familiar.