Quality Education Academy achieves 100 Percent college acceptance

Quality Education Academy achieves 100 Percent college acceptance
April 28
05:05 2016

Submitted photo

Quality Education Academy High School students celebrate “Sign Up Day.”


The Class of 2016 at Quality Education Academy High School (QEA), a free, public charter school in Winston-Salem, defied the odds.

At a time when the state is struggling with a 6.8 percent drop-out rate among black students, according to the latest data from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, QEA reached this month its goal of 100 percent college acceptance rate among its high school seniors.

Quality Education Academy High School marked the occasion by hosting a “Sign Up Day.”

Like athletes signing up with professional sports teams, graduating seniors wore the t-shirt of the college of their choice and signed the QEA Student Creed, which was confirmed by Simon Johnson, Quality Education Academy CEO.

Dr. Pamela Jennings, Executive Director of the Center for Design Innovation, spoke to a full auditorium about goals, hard work, the power of focus, and education. She inspired, encouraged, and challenged the students to prepare themselves for the journey ahead of them.

The program also included poetry, music, presentations, and concluded with a reception for the students and their family members.

The event was inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama, who challenged every high school in the country to recognize all students who continue their education beyond high school with the Reach Higher Initiative.

Quality Education Academy High School was able to set and reach its goal of 100 percent college acceptance since its first graduating class in 2009 due to its rigorous academic curriculum, high performance student standards, excellent teachers and staff, and strong community and family support.

As remarkable as this achievement is, QEA’s success mirrors the national trend of improved student performance among African-American students in public charter schools compared to their peers enrolled in traditional public schools, according to the 2015 “State of Black America” report by the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO).

Examining the latest research from Stanford University, the

U.S. Department of Education, and its own analysis, BAEO researchers found that:

For every $1,000 invested in a charter school and a traditional public school (TPS) in 20 states and the District of Columbia, charter schools produced a “weighted average of 17 NAEP points per $1,000 invested in math” and “16 NAEP points per invested in reading.”

Black students received an additional 36 days of learning in math and 26 days in reading compared to their TPS peers—the highest gain for all students in each subject.

Black students in poverty received an additional 59 days of learning in math and 44 days in reading compared with their TPS peers — the highest gain for all low-income, non-English Language Learner (ELL) students.

In fact, 15 of the 16 national and regional studies identified by BAEO researchers and conducted since 2010 concluded that charter students outperformed their TPS peers and only one study found mixed results.

While there is still much work to be done to improve academic outcomes for all students, the evidence is strong from current research, as well as from the smiles of students, parents and teachers at Quality Education Academy High School’s “Sign Up Day,” that black-led charter schools are making a difference.

About Black Led Schools of Choice Black Led Schools of Choice is a statewide organization of free, public charter schools founded and operated by transformational African-American educators, entrepreneurs, and community leaders.

We address the unique challenges and opportunities facing African-American public charter school leaders in creating, sustaining, and delivering high-quality education to our children by providing technical assistance, operational resources and support, networking opportunities, and issue-driven advocacy.

The founding members are:

* Dr. Michelle Johnson of The Point Academy in Jamestown

* Simon Johnson of Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem

* Cynthia and Don McQueen of Torchlight Academy in Raleigh

* Eugene Slocum of Alpha Academy in Fayetteville

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Wali Pitt

Wali Pitt

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