Urban Prep Academy Charter High School

Today's Sun-Times print edition reports on what must now be called the Miracle in Englewood. Urban Prep Charter School still has a 100% college-going rate with ALL 95 graduating seniors going to college!

Problem is, for the past few weeks, the orgy of happy-weepy media reports about the Urban Prep Miracle was that all 107 graduating seniors were going to college (see, for example, People Magazine, Good Morning America, "Urban Prep Named Person of the Week on ABC World News).

So, since their first self-promotional blitz, they've lost 12 students? And that's on top of the other 50 or so members of the class of 2010 who had also gone missing from the rolls since the school first opened, as PURE reported a while ago:

* According to the Illinois Interactive School Report Card, there were 166 freshmen enrolled in 2007, Urban Prep's first year. Of these original freshmen, the Tribune reports that 107 are graduating seniors. This yields an overall school graduation rate of 64%, or nearly 6 points lower than the average district rate of 69.8%.
* Just as they struggled as entering freshmen, as reported by the school's founder, many of these graduates will likely struggle in college given the school's composite state high school examination results of 15%, compared with the Chicago average of 28%.

With these new figures, the overall graduation rate at Urban Prep goes down to 57%. So, it begins to look more and more as though Urban Prep's real "accomplishment" is refusing to graduate any senior who has not been accepted into college…


BigLib said...

I just saw MSNBC highlight this school as some shining example of advances in educational achievement. They were interviewing some dude that was associated with the school (sorry, missed his name.) They conveniently never mentioned how big their graduating class was, just that all of them were heading to college. That's when I Googled to find out the particulars, and found your post here.

I'd also like to know what their student to teacher ration is, and how much their tuition is. Charter schools are not the miracle they proclaim themselves to be. They are, in fact, a scam.

Thanks for your post!

Anonymous said...

Please stop being ridiculous. There is not a school in the country that does not lose students to transfer, drop out, and expulsion. Therefore, no school could ever claim 100% of anything. Urban Prep is reporting that 100% of their GRADUATING students are off to college. These students struggle in more ways than one could imagine, but test scores are not the predictor of success in college. Resilience, relentlessness, and faith are just a few of the values promoted at this school. What are you going to complain about when these students graduate from college? What will be the scam then? Get over it. Young black men can and will succeed whether you haters like it or not. By the way, to the commenter who can't be bothered to half pay attention to what he or she is commenting on, this school is tuition free.

Anonymous said...

The tuition is actually $300 per year.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, this campus (there are at least two) let a ton of their teachers go this summer.

Anonymous said...

And, when those 'non-graduating' students left, they went back to the public school rolls, who actually had to count them.

It must be nice to pick and choose your student body! Public schools don't have that option.

Joe S

Anonymous said...

Read their mission statement and curriculum. Every school day is two hours longer than in a public school. There is an honor system and strict school conduct code. There is a huge amount of homework. Most of the incoming students need remedial programs and are far behind in math and english skills for their grade level.
If the students do not want to obey the rules, stay within the guidelines of the program and do not want to do the work, of course they will be dismissed.
The parents and the students are told prior to enrollment what is expected of them.
When I went to college, 30% of the freshman class was gone after the first semester. 50% were gone after the first year.

Anonymous said...

I pulled my son out of Urban Prep this year. On paper they look good. Their mission statement is encouraging, but sad to say they don't stand behind it. The kids scores are below high school level. Freshmen and Sophomores reading and math scores are between 3rd and 7th grade, without any real plan for improvement. They absolutely did not have a lot of homework. And when you have teachers changing grades because they asked. Well, I am just saying my son doesn't need that type of support to get ahead. He needs to be taught not passed!

Anonymous said...

Whoa Whoa Whoa......Those of you that speak against what UPCA for Young Men have accomplish are so lucky that I didnt see this a while ago; Im here to defend the school that has offered me the key to the world. You tell me that you havent struggled in your life, challenges big or small, and I will drop out of college right now [NOT, My sovereignty holds more weight than your ignorance...but actually]. I am a member of 2010 and STILL going through the motions of graduating. How can you say that charter schools are a scam? You are the scam with your intent to tear down the positive aspects of educating our people. You want to talk about a scam? lets take a look at the selective enrollment test just to get into high school that has the potential to tell a student "Im sorry, but you just arent smart enough...better luck never". I understand taking the ACT or SAT for colleges and universities, but to decapitate a child's self esteem at such a young age, come on now. Charter schools on the other hand, have found a way of making it WORK for those severely under represented.

Anonymous said...

(cont'd) Maybe you didnt grown up in a socio-economic disadvantaged area, but I did and to know that there are people willing to cultivate an environment that tells its students "Hey, I know that society deems you to be one way, but I think otherwise and I know you have potential" no matter what its downfalls have been, thats pretty damn remarkable. In fact, The president, MSNBC, CBS, NPR, Good Morning America, CNN, French Public Radio, and a host of others BELIEVE as well. From a communication major standpoint, that's pretty credible. You show me some recent things in the news that speaks on how public schooling has positively affected the lives of not only black men, but mankind in general. Show me something other than sex scandals and all out violence and animosity that plagues these schools...but I digress. Speaking on tuition, it is not tuition, more so an activity fee, a nominal amount of money you pay when you are even in college. Do you know [clearly you do not] the amount of support given, academic trips taken, and overall love that is supplied to a UP Student? Man, Of all the things I taken advantage of it surpasses the 1200 funky dollars one pays over the course of four years. You haters are sincerely missing the point of what has been achieved here. Urban Prep never claimed to be Michael Duncan (The Big guy from the Green Mile) and work miracles, yet they have. Unless you were in the belly of the beast then you cant even fathom them amount of hard work that people have invested into helping cultivate and positively influence our young BLACK men's lives. The amount of ignorance that some people possess in the realm of what it means to be a humanitarian is so baffling! As a human being, you should know that not everything works out the way it was planned the first time, but thats why the key words of resilience, dedication, commitment, and focus resound through the halls of each campus. And as for those parents that took their child out of the school and then have the audacity to bad mouth it, i charge you to do a little metacognitive reflection on YOUR role in YOUR child's education. My parents always told me that it takes two to tango...so in this case it is up to YOU to be MORE invested in your child's education. Dont just send them to school as if they are there to be babysat--- that went out the window in Pre-K yo. I refuse to let you tell me that we didnt have a lot of homework...especially when some nights I went to bed a 3 AM completing mine. I challenge you to not be so ignorant to say that the avenue created to uplift our young black men is a flop because YOU lacked the responsibility to take a committed and active role in YOUR child's future. Why do you think our saying is "WE BELIEVE"? Its not just WE as in the school, but WE as in you too...so you sit and think about that. There is so much in my rapport that I can say to all of you nay-sayers to get you to understand that this website is wrong and your charge against Urban Prep and other schools like it displays a considerable amount of ignorance and lack of faith in humanity. Get it together people...we can build each other up, if we are constantly pointing the finger and shooting each other down.....I rest this case...TylerB