Can inner-city charter school succeed? Students say ‘YES’


The YES Prep North Central’s first graduating class in Houston, Texas, has a compelling record to maintain. According to the article below, “YES Prep — the name is an acronym for Youth Engaged in Service — was founded 11 years ago by Chris Barbic, a Teacher for America alumnus who shaped his vision around a simple, singular goal: Every student is expected to go to a four-year college, succeed there and return to give back to their community.” And so far 100% of seniors at YES Prep Southeast have been accepted to college.

Longer school days, a strict discipline code, a challenging curriculum and a small teacher-student ratio seem to be working for YES Prep Schools’ students which consist of 90% first-generation college-bound, 80% from low-income families and 96% Hispanic or African-American. With another 4,000 students on the waiting list, what can public schools do to increase student motivation and increase the number of their students accepted into college? Here are my suggestions:

1) Implement a freshmen success program that boosts academic, emotional and social intelligence like LifeBound’s Critical and Creative Thinking for Teenagers, Making the Most of High School or Study Skills for High School Students programs. Any of these would help students get off to the strongest start possible in high school. Then schools could build on that through career academies at each grade level. LifeBound offers a stair-step program with data-driven results for helping students persist in their educational and career goals and LifeBound’s new fifth edition of Majoring in the Rest of Your Life prepares high school seniors for college and career success. To reserve your copy, contact the LifeBound office by calling 1.877.737.8510 or emailing contact@

2) Give parents the tools to motivate and support their students’ growing independence and to champion themselves as role models. Our Stop Parenting Start Coaching book teaches parents coaching skills to help them motivate, inspire and connect with their teenagers. Review copies are also available of this book, and we give parent sessions for districts. For more information, please contact the LifeBound office or visit and click on the “coaching” button.


Can inner-city charter school succeed? Students say ‘YES’
USA Today
By Monica Rhor, The Associated Press

HOUSTON — It was Deadline Day at YES Prep North Central, the day college applications were supposed to be finished, the day essays, personal statements and a seemingly endless series of forms needed to be slipped into white envelopes, ready for submission.

The day the school’s first graduating class would take one leap closer to college.

The seniors inside Room A121 were sprinting, scurrying and stumbling to the finish line. They hunched over plastic banquet tables, brows furrowed and eyed fixed on the screens of Dell laptop computers. Keyboards clattered, papers rustled and sighs swept across the room like waves of nervous energy.

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