At-risk high school students benefit from partnership with HBCU

Disadvantaged students at a Texas public high school are achieving at a higher level as a result of a recent partnership between Prairie View A&M University, according to results announced yesterday by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) Redesign Network.

The partnership between Prairie View and the high school is part of TMCF’s college preparedness program that matches historically Black colleges and universities with high schools that educate at-risk students.

Participating colleges implemented redesign initiatives in their partner high schools to improve student achievement. The initiatives are based on best practices in school reform and meant to better prepare students for college.

Some of the highlights of Prairie View A&M University’s collaboration with Royal High School in Texas during the 2007-08 school year are:

  • 83 percent of math students met state proficiency standards for Texas’ standardized test. This rate is 90 percent higher than 2005 scores
  • 86 percent of English language arts students met state standards, which is 14 percent higher than 2005 levels
  • 93 percent of social studies students met state standards

Students involved with the program also came away better prepared for college, according to program officials. “The achievements of the unique partnership between Prairie View A&M University and Royal High School indicate that the model is something that can be successfully duplicated across the country,” Dr. George C. Wright, president of Prairie View, said in a press release. “Prairie View’s heritage is grounded in a commitment to educating students – at all levels – to be productive professionals and citizens of their communities and this partnership shows our commitment to that task,” Wright said.

Other partnerships in TMCF’s Redesign Network include:

  • Coppin State University/Coppin Academy High School #434 – Baltimore, MD
  • Southern University/ Capital Pre-College Academy for Girls/Boys – Baton Rough, LA
  • Winston-Salem State University/Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy – Winston-Salem, NC
  • Texas Southern University/Texas Southern University Math & Science at Jones High School – Houston, TX 

“Closing the achievement gap continues to be a priority for the Thurgood Marshall Fund,” according to Dwayne Ashley, president and CEO of the organization. “We have to be leaders in working with the nation to turn our schools around so that we can help to ensure that our children have an equal chance to go to college and to become productive contributors to society.” 

TMCF plans to expand the partnership program to other schools. The program is supported by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.



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