2006-2007, under contract with Detroit Public Schools, Hustle &
TECHknow Preparatory High School, a cyber school - a blended model of a
traditional brick–and–mortar building and a virtual curriculum, was born. The
cyber school concept was chosen after a group of high students commented they
hated school as it was a drag, meaning it moved so slow it loses their
interest. The students commented they wished it moved fast like a video game.
They were certain they could perform better if it addressed their concerns and
challenged their minds.
Here are Hustle & TECHknow Preparatory High School demographics and its successes.
93 Students 70 Boys, 23 Girls
30 % Adjudicated Youth 81% Economically disadvantaged
● Moved schools’ collective Lexile Reading grade level from 4.2 to 7.8
● Sent three quarter finalist to the National Vocabulary Championship out of 10,000 students who tested for 79 spots
● 80% graduation rate, 100% post-secondary matriculation
● Educational Program of the Year 2007, Automation Alley
● 75% African American males
● Waitlist of approximately 500 students
Many Hustle & TECHknow Preparatory High School students were labeled with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - ADHD and placed in Special Education classes. Research shows 69% of students placed in Special Education classes will not graduate from high school even if they are fully equipped to handle the workload. Our students had lots of energy that was channeled into a fast and furious workload. Despite our success, as evidenced by the multiple awards and competitions we won, the school was closed as we chose to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline.
Prior to opening Hustle & TECHknow Preparatory High School, cyber curriculum was utilized as credit recovery for urban alternative high schools that achieved 2% graduation rates. Educators were quite resistant to its usage due to its failure. I opened the first cyber school in Detroit that achieved 80% graduation rate with a group of students everyone expected to fail. Instead, students completed 2 years of curriculum in 1 year. Hustle & TECHknow Preparatory High School and my subsequent legislative advocacy shifted the conversation regarding the effectiveness of the blended brick-and-mortar/ virtual school concept. It laid the foundation for the passage of a bill sponsoring the first two state purely virtual schools.
Uplift, Inc.'s current education, invention and entrepreneurial projects evolved from the successes at Hustle & TECHknow Preparatory High School.
Join us on this
as we seek to open an invention lab.