A 2006 report from the University of Chicago found that only one in 40 African American male students graduated from the city’s public high schools in the traditional four-year period. But the academic poor performance of the city’s youth is not universal.
Urban Prep Academies is an organization that operates a network of public charter high schools in Chicago serving African-American men. This is the third year in a row that all graduating seniors have been accepted into four-year colleges. Many of the students plan to attend a historically Black college or university. Other schools where students have been accepted include Northwestern University, Bates College, Georgetown University, the University of Virginia, and the American University of Paris.
Students at the schools are immersed in a challenging college preparatory curriculum and must abide by strict rules and a code of conduct. The class day and the academic year are longer than at the traditional public high school. Students attend school on Saturdays and they take a double load of courses in mathematics and English.