Friday, February 05, 2016

I am living proof that education reform has not failed in Newark

If he visited a KIPP school, maybe Nelson would meet someone like this and the scales would fall from his eyes:
My name is Wydeyah Hay and I am a TEAM Academy (KIPP New Jersey) founding class member, part of the first class when TEAM opened in 2002. This fall, I returned to the classroom as a Relay Resident at KIPP's Seek Academy. Through this program I'll be on my way to earning a master's degree by apprenticing in a well-run classroom. It was because of the values that KIPP helped instill in me that I was inspired to become a teacher and support my community.

While some of the things I've read have said that reform has failed in Newark, or that it was a "wash" for Newark's kids, I am living proof that this is not the case. Over the last five years, KIPP has opened four new schools in Newark and has grown to serve roughly 2,000 more kids. And politicians need only to see what I see in my school each day, that's no "wash" for the kids in these classrooms. 

Coming from Newark, people often have the perception that it's unfriendly or that if you stay here your future will be limited. My teachers and school leader at KIPP New Jersey helped me realize that there was more than being another statistic. To be blunt, I believe they saved my life. And now I'm back in my community to do the same.

My teachers at KIPP always enforced extending my education and climbing the mountain to college. With their support I got into Immaculate Conception High School (ICHS) in Montclair, NJ after graduating from TEAM Academy middle school in 2006. I went on to attend Virginia State University (VSU). I was determined to stay in school and I always made great grades. And KIPP helped support me every step of the way both emotionally and financially.
It is because of them that I graduated from college with honors.

I am living proof that education reform has not failed in Newark
posted by Wydeyah Hay | 0sc
January 19, 2016 

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