YES Prep Public Schools Wins Inaugural Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools
"We are delighted to award the first Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools to YES Prep because they serve as an example for other public schools systems across the country," said Eli Broad, founder of The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, who congratulated YES Prep via video. "YES Prep and other high-performing public charter models demonstrate that students of all backgrounds can meet high expectations and thrive when teachers get the support they need, and when parents-of all income levels-have access to world-class public schools."
YES Prep Public Schools' mission is to increase the number of low-income students who graduate from a four-year college prepared to compete in the global marketplace and give back to their communities. The schools are designed around the belief that low-income students can achieve at the same academic levels as their more affluent peers when given access to similar opportunities and resources. YES Prep requires every senior to gain acceptance to a four-year college in order to earn their high school diploma.
In 2011, YES Prep served more than 5,400 low-income minority students on 10 Houston campuses. Currently 9,000 students are on YES Prep waiting lists. In 2010, YES Prep was named one of the "Best Places to Work" by the Houston Business Journal.
Among the reasons YES Prep Public Schools won the inaugural Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools:
- YES Prep eliminated nearly every income and ethnic achievement gap that urban schools nationwide face-and closed gaps five times more often than other CMOs. In 2011, YES Prep's low-income students performed higher than the state's non-low-income students in middle and high school math, science and reading. Similarly, YES Prep's Hispanic students performed higher than their white peers statewide in the same areas. For example, in 2011, 97 percent of YES Prep's Hispanic students were proficient on the state middle school science assessment, compared with 89 percent of the state's white students.YES Prep's African-American students also performed higher than their white peers statewide in nearly all subjects and school levels.