Cheryl Brown Henderson Joins Thursday Panel on Educational options in Kansas

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Cheryl Brown Henderson


Cheryl Brown Henderson, daughter of Oliver Brown, plaintiff in historic Brown v. Board of Education, and founding president of the Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, will participate in a presentation on educational options at University Academy this Thursday, October 20.

Brown Henderson will join a panel of Kansas City residents to discuss "the state of Black education before Brown, after Brown and today."

History and data show us that Black families benefit from having educational options. Over 700,000 Black students attend charter schools nationwide, and the data shows they’re succeeding. Low-income Black students in charter schools gain the equivalent of 29 extra days of learning in reading and 36 extra days of learning in math per year compared with their Black peers in traditional district schools.

Drawing on what we’ve learned from history, how can we ensure that strong public options remain available to Black students, and how can we move forward, together?

These questions will be explored in-depth by Brown Henderson, her fellow panelists, and a student moderator.

Students from University Academy High School– which in 2016 had the highest standardized state test scores in Missouri, including 100 percent advanced/proficient on the Algebra I exam – will ask questions from the audience and join the panelists in discussions on how to move forward as a community.

Prior to the panel, participants will tour University Academy.

The panel discussion starts at 10:45 a.m.

Other participants include: Charnissa Holliday-Scott, Kansas City attorney, Missouri Charter Public School Association board member, former educator; Dr. Clem Ukaoma, University Academy high school principal and educator with over 30 years’ experience; and, Jordan Sanders, University Academy high school student, senior class president, vice-chair of the mayor’s youth council, and gubernatorial campaign volunteer.

University Academy has been recognized as a “Best High School in America” by U.S. News & World Report every year since 2012. In 2016, the school had the highest standardized state test scores in Missouri, including 100 percent advanced/proficient on the Algebra I exam. The class of 2015 earned a combined $6.3 million in college scholarships, as well as the school’s first Ivy League acceptance.

Since 2004, 100 percent of University Academy graduates have been accepted to college, and almost 60 percent graduate with a BA or higher. By contrast, the national average for low income college graduation is 9 percent.

University Academy’s upper and lower schools just over 1,000 students; 98 percent are African-American and 70 percent are socio-economically disadvantaged.

The Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) is a national non-profit education advocacy organization founded in 2000 by prominent Black educators, elected officials and civil rights activists.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement.

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