Helping Students Pursue Their College & Career Aspirations

Staff Development

Although many states are involved in the Common Core State Standards initiative, teachers, students, and parents must be fully informed on the level of college preparedness (i.e., taking the proper classes that meet minimum college admissions standards) and college readiness (i.e., taking the level of coursework such as honors, AP, advanced math and science, that sufficiently prepares a student for college level coursework) within their schools. By helping students and parents to understand how students within their demographic group are performing academically, we hope to expand the conversations relative to early intervention. These discussions will increase awareness of the huge disparities in college enrollment and college graduation rates.

The 2009 NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) tested high school seniors from 1,670 public and private schools across the country (52,000 students in reading and 49,000 students in math). The results were compared to previous assessments dating back to 1992.

The performance results for all students:

  • 38% (4 in 10) of twelfth-graders performed at or above the Proficient level in reading
  • 26% (less than 3 in 10) of twelfth-graders performed at or above the Proficient
    level in math
  • While the scores were slightly better than in 2005 they were lower than in
    1998 and in 1992

The performance results in reading by demographic subgroups:

  • 49% of Asian twelfth-graders performed at or above the Proficient level in reading
  • 46% of White twelfth-graders performed at or above the Proficient level in reading
  • 22% of Hispanic twelfth-graders performed at or above the Proficient level in reading
  • 17% of Black twelfth-graders performed at or above the Proficient level in reading

The performance results in math by demographic subgroups:

  • 52% of Asian twelfth-graders performed at or above the Proficient level in math
  • 33% of White twelfth-graders performed at or above the Proficient level in math
  • 11% of Hispanic twelfth-graders performed at or above the Proficient level in math
  • 6% of Black twelfth-graders performed at or above the Proficient level in math

Clearly, there is cause for concern when so many twelfth-graders are not proficient in reading or in math. Increasing the performance of high school students will require that we increase student success in pre-school through middle school. Waiting until high school to engage students and families in college-bound discussions is far too late.

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Increasing Parental Involvement

Our approach to staff development is to engage school-based personnel and community members in courageous conversations regarding parental involvement. These conversations are designed to identify strategies that strengthen parent-teacher relationships, develop school-community collaboration, and build home-school partnerships driven by the school’s mission, vision, and core values.

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It’s All About Strategy

Mychal Wynn is a strategist who delivers high-energy’ insightful’ informative’ motivational’ and thought-provoking presentations. He synthesizes research’ analyzes disaggregated student performance data’ and uses anecdotes’ visuals’ and personal experiences to frame the challenges facing teachers’ issues confronting parents’ and barriers that students must overcome. Audiences leave a Mychal Wynn presentation knowing why’ “It’s All About Strategy.”

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Working with Diverse Families

Understanding the broad range of cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic orientations of families presents unique challenges for educators. Yet such challenges must be addressed if educators are to build positive relationships with students and meaningful partnerships with families and communities that will pave the way to systemic sustainable improvement in student achievement.

These sessions help educators to expand their understanding of how race, socioeconomic background, education, and culture shapes the beliefs, attitudes and behaviors of students and families.

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Increasing College Readiness

One of our most successful programs is the Win with Wynn College-Planning Series, designed by Mychal Wynn, a child of poverty, product of public education and urban schools, first-generation college graduate, parent, and author of 26 nooks. Mr. Wynn uses humor, research, personal stories, and anecdotes that resonate with parents, students, and educators. Visuals utilized in the PowerPoint presentations, self-reflective activities, and desegregated student achievement data shared with audiences, paint a clear picture of the scope of work, sacrifice, and strategies required to close achievement gaps and prepare students to pursue college and careers beyond high school.

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Increasing Black Male Achievement

Black males represent a demographically identifiable subgroup facing unique barriers and requiring culturally responsive strategies. Educators learn how to build partnerships with mentoring programs, faith organizations, community agencies, and parents as part of a strategic course of action to achieve systemic and sustainable increases in Black male achievement. Educators learn how to bridge socioeconomic, cultural, and gender-based communication gaps. They also learn how to inspire self-motivated learners by tapping into students’ hopes, dreams, and future aspirations.

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