Students hungry for knowledge
Olufemi J. Watson Special to the AmNews | 6/27/2012, 5:52 p.m.
For the past four years, Medgar Evers College Preparatory School in Brooklyn has had a graduation rate over 95 percent, according to the school's principal of 11 years, Dr. Michael Wiltshire. This year, only two of the 169 seniors will not be walking at the school's graduation on Friday, June 22. But Wiltshire said those two will indeed be graduating later this summer, bringing the graduation rate up to 100 percent.
Such a high graduation rate is impressive, especially in the wake of a study released earlier this week by the Schott Foundation that found that out of 50 large cities, New York City is ranked at No. 11. According to the study, the highest high school graduation rate for Black males is only 48 percent.
Several years ago, according to Wiltshire, Medgar Evers' graduation was about 60 percent; it has gone up in the past few years. The change really came when the culture of the school changed, Wiltshire said.
"There are a lot of brilliant students in our community," he said, claiming that the changing culture of the school allowed students to look within their community for a good school.
Looking past the graduation rate, Wiltshire said the SAT and AP scores of Medgar Evers students have been excellent and that there are several AP scholars--students that took three or more AP courses. The students, he said, "are hungry to learn."
Medgar Evers students have been accepted into every Ivy League school in the country except Yale, where one student is on the waiting list. Students have been accepted to 25 of the top 35 colleges on the U.S. New and World Reports list.
Wiltshire says not only are the students dedicated, so are the teachers. Medgar Evers teachers not only have great credentials, "they are committed to the profession." The school is open six days a week and many of the teachers come in on Saturdays.