Thurgood Marshall Academy is a college-preparatory public charter high school located in ward 8’s historic Anacostia neighborhood. The school upholds Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall’s legacy of equal opportunity through our commitment to providing an excellent education for all students. Opened in 2001, Thurgood Marshall Academy prepares students to succeed in college and instills in students an understanding of democracy and advocacy for themselves and for others.
Thurgood Marshall Academy serves nearly 400 students annually, over 90% of whom live in Wards 7 and 8, communities with the most poverty and fewest resources in the District. Almost 100% of our students are African-American and about 75% qualify for federal free or reduced lunch – the education marker of poverty.
As a non-selective high school, Thurgood Marshall Academy is open to all DC students; we do not enroll students based on academic ability. The average ninth-grade student enters our school with skills three or four grade levels behind. In order to improve their skills and help students overcome years of accumulated academic deficits, all ninth and tenth grade students receive twice as much English and math instruction (90 minutes of each per day) as they would in a traditional public school.
Our program works; we have the highest Median Growth Percentile—a measure of students’ academic gains—in math and reading in DC. For the past three years, our students’ scores on DC city-wide standardized tests were amongst the highest in the city for all non-selective high schools. Our students’ average SAT score exceeds that of African American students in the District and our students’ Advanced Placement passing rate is among the highest of all high school in the District
Thurgood Marshall Academy’s curriculum emphasizes elements of law and justice throughout all subject areas. Our goal is not that every student becomes a lawyer, but that students develop their own voices and learn the skills lawyers have—the ability to solve complex problems, think critically, and advocate persuasively. These skills will serve them well in high school, in college, and in the world of work for a lifetime.
The education students receive at Thurgood Marshall Academy extends far beyond the classroom. Enrichment opportunities include tutoring and law-based programs at the District’s leading law firms; recreational and educational activities with adult mentors; engaging afterschool programs; and service projects to improve our local community. Our athletes compete on teams in the Washington Charter School Athletic League and host opponents in our recently renovated, state-of-the art athletic center.
Our expectation of excellence and our steadfast commitment to the success of each student are at the heart of our success at Thurgood Marshall Academy. Our high expectations work—for the ninth year in a row, 100% of our graduates have been accepted to college. Approximately 96% of our alumni from the Class of 2013 enrolled in college within one year of graduation, and roughly 85% of graduates since 2009 are still currently enrolled, or have graduated college.