Who Says Low-Income Blacks Can't Compete For Admission to the Nation's Highest-Ranked Universities?

Gaston College Prep in Gaston, North Carolina, opened in 2001. Its student body is predominantly black and most of these students come low-income families. But students at Gaston Prep pursue a rigorous curriculum and their test scores compare favorably with white students in North Carolina.

The secret to how black students at Gaston College Prep have closed the racial gap in test scores is quite simple. They work hard. Students attend classes from 8 a.m to 5 p.m every weekday. Students also attend classes for four hours every other Saturday. Tutoring is available each afternoon after classes for students who have trouble keeping up. Students who enroll at the school attend a three-week summer session to prepare them for the rigorous academic environment. Each teacher at the school is given a cellular telephone and all students and parents are given the number. If a student is experiencing trouble with a homework assignment, he or she is expected to call the teacher for help in the evenings.


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