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Thurgood Marshall Academy Received National Media Coverage in Politico Magazine

Politco Mag

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Politico Magazine spotlights Thurgood Marshall Academy in “You’re Not Going to Give Up,” an informative piece that showcases the evolution of the Charter School movement in Washington, DC.

The article is part of a larger series titled “What Works” and features Thurgood Marshall Academy alumni, dedicated volunteers, the organizer of the unique Law Day program, and other key staff and faculty. Co-founder of the school, Josh Kern, even addresses the naysayers who attempted to corrupt his vision – to open a high school to any student and have them prepared to be successful in college.

Under the current leadership of Executive Director Alexandra Pardo, Thurgood Marshall Academy underwent a vast transformation that is relived in the article. Pardo and Kern candidly uncover lessons learned and the challenges they faced on the way to meeting and exceeding their goals. Today, students’ success is no longer confined to a small corner of DC, but to a much broader context that shapes their academic journeys.

Check out our favorite tidbits from the article, which explores Thurgood Marshall Academy and delves into the Charter School movement that started almost 25 years ago.

  • Thurgood Marshall Academy is located in Anacostia, one of the most underserved areas of Washington, D.C.
  • D.C. today stands out because a whopping 44 percent of all its public school students—36,565 young people in 112 schools—are enrolled in charter schools, the highest state percentage in the nation.
  • The hallways [in Thurgood Marshall Academy] are hushed. There are no jangling PA announcements, no clanging bell to mark the end of class, no metal detectors at the front door.
  • At Thurgood Marshall Academy, 100 percent of the school’s graduates are accepted into college. And two-thirds of those students finish college, a rate that is higher than the national average.
  • The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, in an October 2014 report monitoring the health of public charter schools in terms of growth, innovation and quality, ranked D.C. number one in the nation.
  • Thurgood Marshall Academy graduates have gone on to—and graduated from—Bates, Temple, the University of Vermont, the University of Virginia, the University of Wisconsin and dozens of other universities.
  • Thurgood Marshall Academy has had the highest test scores among open-enrollment public schools.
  • Thurgood Marshall Academy’s teachers average about seven years of teaching experience, and 80 percent of them have graduate degrees.
  • TMA graduates go on to finish college within five years at a rate of 65-68 percent in comparison to the national college graduation rate within five years of 55 percent.
politico2 Photos by: Mark Peterson/Redux Pictures for Politico Magazine
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Read more and see our students in action in the interactive gallery featured with the article.