YES Prep Community,
We live in unprecedented times—times that both remind us of the fundamental importance of our mission and that leave many of us deeply concerned about how to best advocate for our students and ourselves. In the midst of this uncertainty, I am reminded of our collective resolve to embrace and protect diversity in order to eliminate educational inequity and advance social justice.
You may have read or heard about the new state accountability system for public education, based on a new letter grade (A – F) rating scale. I’m writing to you to provide a few of my thoughts about the new system, as well as comment on YES Prep’s performance.
Context – Why did the Texas Education Agency (TEA) make this change?
Governor Greg Abbott appointed Carlos Villagrana to the State Board for Educator Certification. Villagrana has worked at YES Prep since 2010 and serves as the Managing Director of YES Prep's Teaching Excellence program. According to the Governor's office, "The board develops certification and continuing education requirements and standards of conduct for public school teachers." Villagrana's term on the board will last until 2021.
School Applications for Harmony, KIPP Houston, YES Prep, and 3 More Open November 1
HOUSTON, Texas, October 18, 2016 – Families Empowered, a Houston-based nonprofit organization, has announced today that five public charter school networks serving Houston parents will accept applications on a common timeline: opening November 1, 2016 and closing February 10, 2017.
YES Prep's College Initiatives team attended a summer institute called Grit + Imagination, An Educator's Summit. The Walton Family Foundation highlighted YES Prep's Senior Director of College Initiatives, Rhiannon Carabajal Killian, in its article about the event. “Grades or test scores will increase when students practice character skills that are rooted in science,” she explained. To read the article, click here.
The LA Times interviewed YES Prep alumna, Victoria Perez, about her experiences as a first-generation college student at USC, where she is studying film. "You hold such weight because you’re not just smart, you have to be smart for your whole family, your whole community,” she said. Read the article here.
The Houston Chronicle spotlights YES Prep in its article about converting nontraditional spaces into schools. YES Prep's White Oak campus used to be a Kroger store. YES Prep has also established schools in office buildings, retail centers, a church, and a delivery warehouse. Because every building is different, "we've got to be a little bit more flexible" with the design, said Keith Weaver, YES Prep's Managing Director for Operations. Read the article here.