DALLAS, Oct. 21, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has announced that it will include Uplift Summit International Preparatory middle school in Arlington, TX, in its Reward School best practice case studies program. Uplift Summit was one of 11 schools asked to participate.
The case studies will focus on Title 1 schools that have successfully promoted student academic growth. Interviewers will spend time on the Uplift Summit campus talking to the school director and teachers about practices that have been employed to help low-income students succeed.
"Across our network, our teachers and school leaders are working hard to help our middle school scholars grow as fast as possible. We find that because so many of our Title 1 scholars lack essential opportunities and access to resources, they trail their peers academically. We have to focus on quickly improving math and reading skills so they can compete," said Priscilla Parhms, managing director over Uplift Summit's primary and middle school programs.
Uplift Education has had the support of the Middle School Matters (MSM) program, sponsored by the Bush Institute to help provide recommendations to help its scholars. Last year, the MSM team advised at Uplift Mighty Middle School in Fort Worth, where George P. Bush served as advisory board chair until leaving to run for Texas Land Commissioner.
"We shared much of what we learned through Middle School Matters at our other network schools. Uplift Summit, which is just a few miles from Uplift Mighty benefitted greatly. When you have access to the people who actually write the textbooks, which was the case in math, the gains you can make are significant," Ms. Parhms said.
Uplift middle school scholars beat the state STAAR Level II results on both math (76.8 percent to 73.3 percent) and reading (78.6 percent to 75.1 percent). Both of these pass rates exceed local ISDs scores. In addition, 81 percent of Uplift Summit middle school scholars met their growth goals on NWEA's nationally administered Measure of Academic Performance (MAP) assessment. Uplift teachers use data from its MAP assessments to set aggressive goals for every student, in some cases as much as 1.5 years of growth in order to get scholars to grade level.
"More than anything, to help scholars succeed, you have to know where they are starting and then set a high bar for achievement. Our teachers are able to take the MAP data and create plans for every scholar, adjusting as the year progresses. Our Uplift Summit middle scholars are consistently rising to the challenge, working hard, and meeting their goals. I'm proud of every one of them," Ms. Parhms said.
The complete list of schools to be included in the case study can be found here.
About Uplift Education
Uplift Education is a is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization operating a network of 32 tuition-free, college preparatory, public charter schools in Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington and Irving on 14 campuses. Uplift Education schools provide a rigorous, multidisciplinary curriculum, with an emphasis on college preparation – 100% of graduates are accepted to college. Uplift Education educates nearly 12,000 students, with the majority being low-income and minority students who will be the first in their family to attend college. Uplift schools are public schools -- students are selected by a blind lottery with no information collected on their past academic performance. For more information, visit uplifteducation.org or facebook.com/uplifteducation.
Mike Terry, Director of Communications
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