By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Feb 17th 2011 11:56AM
Well, they’ve done it again. Urban Prep Academy of Chicago, an all-male charter school with kids from the “worst” parts of Chicago, is sending 100% of its graduating seniors off to college. The school, founded in 2006, has stated that its continuous objective is to see to it that all of its students go to college. They are succeeding with flying colors.The school started with kids whose futures had been left for dead by their public schools: Only four percent of the school’s incoming freshmen were reading at grade level when they arrived on campus. But by sending all of their graduating seniors to college, they’ve not only gotten these kids up to speed, they’ve allowed them to zip past every other public school in the entire United States.
“No other public [school] in the country has done this,” said Tim King, the founder of Urban Prep.
The students at the school are required to wear a jacket and tie every single day. They also go to school for two hours longer than other kids. They take English twice a day and are given a mentor with a cell number that kids can call 24 hours a day. They’ve clearly hit the mark when it comes to understanding that getting our children to the land of educational success requires both academic and sociological strategies.
When I first wrote about Urban Prep Academy last year, I was incredibly proud. Like Stephen Stafford, the 13-year old kid who now attends Morehouse College, the men of Urban Prep Academy are firm reminders of what black men are meant to be. We are not hard wired to be thugs, athletes or entertainers. We are meant to be just as brilliant, capable and successful as everyone else in America. Tim King is teaching his boys something that I learned while teaching college over the last 17 years: There is no such thing as “college material.” Every child can be college material if they choose to be. I was personally told that I wasn’t smart enough to go to college, but it takes more intelligence to make it in prison than it does to make it on a college campus. It all comes down to hard work, and black people know how to work hard.
The ChainLink represents the largest bicycle forum in Chicago. Here is a sample of what they think about the West Side of Chicago but the same has also been said of the South Side as well:
“Guys, don’t waste a minute replying to this turd burger on his site. This is just a different way of trolling for people to come to his site. O, The west side is a shit hole. Post it anywhere you like. Feel free to continue to ignore my buddy…”