Thurgood Marshall College Fund Redesign Network Boosts Academic Achievement Among Disadvantaged Minority Students

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Thurgood Marshall College Fund Redesign Network Boosts Academic
Achievement Among Disadvantaged Minority Students

New curriculum helps close academic gap for students at the Capitol Academy for
Girls & Boys  
BATON ROUGE, LA – February 16, 2009 – The Thurgood Marshall College
Fund (TMCF) Redesign Network is a key project within the national school reform
and partnership initiative and is supported by a grant from the Bill and Melinda
Gates Foundation. The program’s mission is to assess, identify, implement and
improve best practices in school reform from across the country to drive enhanced
performance in economically disadvantaged school districts that largely serve
minority students. The project allows several low-performing high schools in the
United States to adopt a high-standard, reformed education curriculum. Results of
the pilot program are significant.
Through a competitive process, six benchmark schools from economically
distressed areas across the country were selected to partner with five historically
black colleges and universities (HBCUs). These institutions of higher learning
were charged with implementing redesign initiatives at the high schools to better
prepare students for college, thereby helping to close the academic achievement
Southern University partnered with the Capitol Pre-College Academy for
Girls and Boys. Reported below are some of the statistical results achieved by
students at the Capitol Pre-College Academy for Girls.
 Students achieved the greatest growth on the iLEAP test of all high schools
in the school district.
 ACT scores and academic achievement improved in all academic
 Students passed standardized testing for each academic discipline at the
following rates: English language arts, 73 percent; math 67 percent; science,
62 percent; and social studies, 69 percent.
 As a result of the program, there is an increase in student enrollment in
advanced placement (AP) and college readiness courses.
 The Academy experienced a reduced number of major disciplinary
The Capitol Pre-College Academy for Boys also achieved measureable
results among its students. Some of the achievements are as follows:
 Overall performance scores on state standardized tests improved by 74%.
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 ACT results improved with scores ranging between 20 and 31.
 Thirty-five percent of students earned the opportunity to graduate with
college credit.
 Nine students received academic athletic college scholarships.
 “Closing the achievement gap continues to be a priority for the Thurgood
Marshall Fund,” says
Dwayne Ashley, president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.  
“For decades, HBCUs have been the largest producer of African-American public
school educators in this country, training and preparing more than 58% of those
who teach in public schools.  Thus, the formula is simple… 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.”
“The project has been an experiment, in real time, testing 21st century ideas
such as single sex and multiple intelligence pedagogy, small classroom learning
environments, performance-based and technology enhanced learning, dual college
enrollment, and other notions about how to best increase learning in students who
are the most at risk for school failure,” said Ivory L. Toldson, principal
investigator for the Gates/Marshall Grant for School Reform. “The experiment is
continuing and is showing early signs of validating some our thinking about best
learning practices for this population of youth.”  
Schools participating in the program in several other states have also seen
marked academic improvements among high school students. Those partnerships
 Prairie View A&M University/Royal High School – Brookshire, TX
 Texas Southern University/Texas Southern University Math & Science
Academy at Jones High School – Houston, TX
 Winston-Salem State University/Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy –
Winston-Salem, NC
 Coppin State University/Coppin Academy High School #434 – Baltimore,
The TMCF Reform Network plans to broaden its impact by expanding and
replicating its reform work to include other underserved high schools and TMCF
member colleges and universities in the future.
About Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Inc.
Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Inc. was established in 1987 and named for the
late U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice, Thurgood Marshall. It is the fifth
largest African-American non-profit organization in the United States, and is the
largest contributor to public HBCUs. The organization has raised more than $90
million during the history of its establishment. The mission of the TMCF is to
develop and prepare a new generation of leaders by providing leadership
development, scholarships, resources, opportunities and advocacy to public
Historically Black Colleges and Universities, students and alumni.
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