Thurgood Marshall College Fund Redesign Network Boosts Graduation Rates Among Disadvantaged Minority Students

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Thurgood Marshall College Fund Redesign Network Boosts Graduation Rates
Among Disadvantaged Minority Students
New curriculum helps Coppin Academy rank 5th among all Baltimore high schools  
BALTIMORE, MD – February 16, 2009 – The Thurgood Marshall College
Fund (TMCF) Redesign Network announces the results of its college
preparedness pilot program. The 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 Network established partnerships between Historically Black Colleges
and Universities (HBCUs) and high schools that educate at-risk students. Through
a competitive process, six benchmark schools from economically distressed areas
across the country were selected to partner with five HBCUs. These colleges and
universities were charged with implementing redesign initiatives at the high
schools to better prepare students for college, thereby helping to close the
academic achievement gap.
Coppin Academy High School partnered with Coppin State University
for the 2007-08 school year and achieved tremendous success in the program.
Reported below are some of the statistical results achieved through the partnership.
 Eighty-seven percent of Coppin Academy seniors fully qualify for
graduation as of Nov. 2008.
 Coppin Academy ranks fifth among 39 Baltimore high schools in senior
graduation preparedness.
 Students in English II classes showed 65 percent proficiency compared to
the city’s average of 48 percent.
 Students achieved a 90 percent attendance level, which is 12 percent higher
than the city level.
 Students who successfully completed the Algebra I class increased to 86
percent from 61 percent, after interventions.
 Results from standards-based exams show that 31 percent of Coppin
Academy students reached a level of “passing” compared to 28.6 percent
last year.
- more-
Thurgood Marshall College Fund Redesign Network Boosts Graduation Rates
Among Disadvantaged Minority Students - Page 2
In addition to these successes, three certified mathematics teachers have
been added to  
Coppin Academy’s full-time instructional staff to further bolster the school’s
reform initiatives. Plans are progressing for qualified students to have the
opportunity to take college-level courses in math and history during the spring of
The program at Coppin Academy gives students the opportunity to expand
their world-view through a process that teaches them to study beyond their homes
and classrooms and that prepares them to spend up to a week studying abroad
during their senior year. Study abroad helps Academy students to build upon their
status as global learners.
“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.  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.”
“We are truly gratified by the progress achieved by the Coppin Academy
High School as a result of its participation in the college preparedness pilot project.
We are very grateful to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Redesign Network
and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. On behalf of the University, I extend
thanks and congratulations as well to the faculty, staff and students of the academy.  
Coppin State University is steadfast in its desire and determination to assist in the
nationwide effort to develop reform initiatives that will improve student
opportunities and performance in economically disadvantaged districts. We believe
our partnership with the Thurgood Marshall Fund Redesign Network will continue
to be fruitful,” says Dr. Reginald S. Avery, President, Coppin State University.     
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
 Southern University/Capital Pre-College Academy for Girls/Boys – Baton
Rouge, 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
The TMCF Reform Network plans to broaden its impact by expanding and
replicating its reform work 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.