University Academy (UA) is a K-12 charter school, located in Kansas City, Missouri, that we think is one of the best college prep schools in the country.

UA’s results speak for themselves. The school currently serves just over 1,000 students–98 percent are African-American and 70 percent are socioeconomically disadvantaged.

In 2016, the Upper School (grades 9-12) had the highest standardized state test scores in Missouri, including 100 percent advanced/ proficiency on the Algebra I exam.

We’re partnering with UA to learn more about how they’re able to get these results. We’ve learned that it comes down to a twin focus on closing the opportunity gap in order to close the achievement gap. Specifically, we identified 10 ways the UA community supports college awareness, preparation, enrollment and completion.

We recently visited University Academy, where Tom had a chance to sit down with Superintendent Tony Kline and Assistant Superintendent Rebecca Gudde to discuss the UA approach, including teacher recruitment and development and other factors that make UA unique. Tom also chatted with UA Chairman Bush Helzberg about how his family was involved in the founding of UA, and how its original mission has never changed.

This post is a part of a blog series in the upcoming “Getting Smart on Closing the Opportunity Gap” Smart Bundle produced in partnership with University Academy. Join the conversation on Twitter using #CloseTheOppGap. For more, check out:


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2 COMMENTS

  1. Fabulous and could serve as a prototype for others who want to have an impact, make a positive change and contribute to creating opportunities for those kids and families who are under served. Thanks for sharing. Hope this spreads far and wide.

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