The Motley Fool Chooses Thurgood Marshall Academy for Foolanthropy 2010

The Motley Fool has again chosen Thurgood Marshall Academy, a remarkably successful charter school, for our annual Foolanthropy project. Discover what makes Thurgood Marshall Academy so unique and so successful in the article below, contributed by Josh Kern, the school's co-founder and president. And keep in mind that, for each comment you post on Fool.com from Nov. 29, 2010, to Jan. 7, 2011, the Fool will contribute $0.10 to Thurgood -- up to $20,000! So get to commenting, Fools, or click here to make a direct donation now.

When we opened the doors of Thurgood Marshall Academy, a college-preparatory law-themed public charter school in Washington, D.C.'s Ward 8, in 2001, my fellow founders and I couldn't have imagined that 10 years later, Thurgood Marshall Academy would be the highest-performing non-selective public high school in the District.

We founded Thurgood Marshall Academy upon U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall's belief that all children have the right to a first-class education. Our mission is to prepare students to succeed in college and to actively engage in our democratic society. As the first and only law-related charter school in Washington, D.C., our goal is to help students develop their own voice by teaching them the skills lawyers have -- the ability to solve complex problems, think critically, and advocate persuasively for themselves and their communities.

Ninety-five percent of our students are from Wards 7 and 8, which are the District's most underserved communities. Ward 8, home to 93% of our students, has the highest rates of poverty (36%) and child poverty (47%) in Washington, D.C., as well as the lowest high school and college graduation rates in the District; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation estimates that only one in three students in this neighborhood typically graduate from high school within five years, and only one in 20 earns a college degree.

In order to accomplish our mission, Thurgood Marshall Academy functions as both a school and a youth development organization by integrating a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum with in-school and after-school support programming. As students rise through the grades and increase their proficiency in grade-level skills, the focus moves from remediation to more intense college preparation. Our curriculum is rich in electives and advanced courses, like AP U.S. Government, AP English Literature, Honors Algebra, and Art. Additionally, we offer after-school clubs like Debate and Green club as well as academic tutoring, personalized mentoring, a summer preparatory program for rising 9th graders, and one-on-one college guidance.

Our accomplishments continue as we build on our first decade of providing quality education to District youth. According to D.C. Comprehensive Assessment System (CAS) results, Thurgood Marshall Academy is the highest-performing open-enrollment high school in D.C. for the second year in a row. D.C. CAS test results in 2010 showed that 62.07% of students were proficient in reading and 71.27% of students were proficient in math. These results far surpassed that of the average proficiency level among all D.C. traditional public and charter high schools, including magnet schools (41.45% in reading; 39.33% in math). Further, 100% of our six graduating classes has been accepted to college.

One of our 243 alumni, James Watkins ('08), knows the results of these statistics firsthand. During a recent visit to Bates College, where James is a junior, he reflected on the influence Thurgood Marshall Academy had on his life path. The high expectations and rules at Thurgood Marshall Academy posed challenges for him along the way; however, the support he received before and after graduation made all the difference. "Everyone has helped in one way or another, whether it was giving me infractions, telling me to tuck in my shirt, pushing me to work harder, and consoling me through my hardships back home," he said.

The Alumni Program is an important component of the support network we provide for our students, not only during their four years in high school, but throughout their college careers as well. The program helps graduates succeed in college by providing essential post-graduation support and resources. Our Alumni Coordinator distributed more than $10,000 in gap funding last year to cover the cost of unexpected college-related expenses via our Alumni Emergency Fund. Our Alumni Program also helps students learn to access resources at their universities, provides college and financial aid counseling to both enrolled students and alumni who have not yet matriculated, and organizes events where alumni share their experiences with current high school students.

In Washington, D.C., approximately 58% of high school graduates enroll in college after graduation. At Thurgood Marshall Academy, 82% of our 243 alumni are either currently enrolled in college or college graduates.

Resources like our Alumni Program make the difference for our students. As James said, "I will never forget TMA for never giving up on me when at times I wanted to give up on myself."

Help us send more students like James to college. We spend $4,000 more per student than our public funding allotment, and every donation helps give our students the education they deserve.

Donate through our website or send a check to:

Thurgood Marshall Academy PCHS
2427 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE
Washington, D.C. 20020

The Fool has a disclosure policy. To read more about Thurgood Marshall Academy, click here.


Read/Post Comments (76) | Recommend This Article (82)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On November 29, 2010, at 5:01 PM, Bruins10 wrote:

    Kudos to you and your staff for your continued support to the Thurgood Marshall Academy. Have you ever thought about supporting or starting a school out west? Or for that matter doing anything out west. Although the California voting publics are literally fools, this fool would like some California love...

  • Report this Comment On November 29, 2010, at 5:09 PM, edshock wrote:

    I would like to second Bruins10 in their comment about starting a school like this "out west".

    I would like to expand this idea 50 times and have schools with this dedication available in every state and many time over in each state.

    Unfortunately our schools and the teachers that support them have been severely handicapped during this economic downturn.

    I thank the Motley Fool for their support of all education

    Edshock1

  • Report this Comment On November 29, 2010, at 6:26 PM, blesto wrote:

    Well, here's a post.

    10 cents.

  • Report this Comment On November 29, 2010, at 6:26 PM, blesto wrote:

    And 10 more cents.

  • Report this Comment On November 29, 2010, at 6:35 PM, richie54 wrote:

    10 more cents here. Boston has great colleges but their public school system leaves much to be desired. This concept would help up north.

  • Report this Comment On November 29, 2010, at 6:56 PM, kydderr wrote:

    Many more schools could be like this one with support and initiative from the community. It proves with hard work and dicipline ( everyone ) can learn !

  • Report this Comment On November 29, 2010, at 7:45 PM, bernbern0 wrote:

    I'm putting my 10 cents in as well! Congratulations to the school and Motley Fool. These are the kind of dividends that will definitely pay off!

  • Report this Comment On November 29, 2010, at 7:47 PM, ShootNStarz wrote:

    What do you think might happen if almost everyone in the United States, parents, lawyers, stockbrokers, teachers, bankers, govenment workers, hippies --- started to make the public schools excellent?

    Pay the teachers, set standards that aren't dominated by "testing", let learning and achievement be amongst the highest criteria. Don't give up on public schools, make them work as well as this academy. Figure it out. You've got the brains to do it.

  • Report this Comment On November 29, 2010, at 8:43 PM, mark3137 wrote:

    I agree with bernbern0 ! Congrats to the school and the Motley Fool !! Keep up the good work!

  • Report this Comment On November 29, 2010, at 8:52 PM, Kensdumb wrote:

    TMA is "Spot on " in their methods to excellence for these kids. Hats off to them. Too bad the public school system is so dummied down by the NEA union. I say get rid of the Dept. of Education, & the NEA and let the local folks demand excellence in our kids.

  • Report this Comment On November 29, 2010, at 9:23 PM, renee2257 wrote:

    If they sold stock in TMA, I'd buy it! Innovative CEO, great business model and solid annual results. Keep up the good work.

  • Report this Comment On November 29, 2010, at 9:42 PM, jane1129 wrote:

    I think what you are doing is great. I am happy to provide support for more of the same. Zei gezunt, which is Yiddish for 'go in good health....'

  • Report this Comment On November 29, 2010, at 9:43 PM, rd80 wrote:

    + another dime

  • Report this Comment On November 29, 2010, at 9:47 PM, skypilot2005 wrote:

    A great "investment" by the Motley The Fool.

  • Report this Comment On November 29, 2010, at 10:01 PM, Pruder wrote:

    +10 cents

  • Report this Comment On November 29, 2010, at 10:51 PM, forfam4 wrote:

    1st Foolish post & for such a great cause!

  • Report this Comment On November 29, 2010, at 11:34 PM, nuf2bdangrus wrote:

    A great cause!

  • Report this Comment On November 29, 2010, at 11:53 PM, Duwango wrote:

    This academy is everything FOOLISH! So very

    pleased that it has been selected again for

    Foolanthropy. This board was such fun last year,

    let's keep it coming.

    FOOL ON :)

    Duwango

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 12:05 AM, Phoenix002 wrote:

    Here's another 10c TMA!

    America and the world needs more of what you good folks do.

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 12:59 AM, swrussel wrote:

    Oh yeah, most excellent choice.

    Wish I was in the vicinity so I could volunteer.

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 3:06 AM, ChicagoJEM wrote:

    Wow. From afar (Chicago), I've long admired Geoffrey Canada's work in Harlem and am aware of several fine selective charter schools in various communities, but I'd never heard of TWA until now. I especially respect the holistic approach and open enrollment. It would be comparatively easy to rack up impressive statistics by cherry-picking students. So TWA's results, given its non-selective admissions, is even more impressive. So here's a comment (and I'll try to post more during the upcoming month), and I'm contemplating a year-end gift to TWA. Thanks, Motley Fool!

    Pink

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 4:50 AM, dag154 wrote:

    Keep up the great work. It is inspiring.

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 4:55 AM, ibuildthings wrote:

    A wonderful notion, this school. I would respectfully offer an extra idea for improvement: Lawyers are trained to learn the laws of the area, then frame arguments that might involve those laws to win for their clients. Engineers and scientists are trained to really understand the laws of nature, and exploit them to benefit their clients. A lawyer can win with hot air. An engineer can only win by being right.

    Add more hard sciences to your students' curriculum. Both them and all of society can only benefit when our lawyers and legislators really know how to analyze problems, not just look like they do.

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 5:11 AM, manfromborneo wrote:

    Here's to better education!

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 8:13 AM, dgoad wrote:

    This sounds like a school that deserves any additional help it can get. Hopefully it will only build on its success over the next decade.

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 9:16 AM, smokyfied wrote:

    I will bet that the Academy does not waste time teaching Creationism or vetting textbooks for "unholy" references to magic or witchcraft. Texas could use a little more sanity in public education!

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 10:13 AM, Tadpole31 wrote:

    DC - .10

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 10:42 AM, buffettiamnot wrote:

    Excellent choice. Marvelous stats that show it CAN be done!

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 11:17 AM, treasrtradr wrote:

    WOW!! Very impressive. We need more of this in the USA, and why not? Keep it up!!

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 11:31 AM, devinck wrote:

    Way to go, Thurgood Marshall Academy! You are an inspiration and a role model of what education should be!

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 11:40 AM, PhulishMortal wrote:

    Anything that helps our educational system is a Good Thing.

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 12:02 PM, kayakmastr wrote:

    Here's my comment and your $0.10. TMA succeeds because they have high expectations, demand commitment, and set high goals for the students and parents. Too many of our public schools across the nation function more as a child care service and do one is willing or able to address the problem because of unionization, and I don't mean consolidation of school districts.

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 12:10 PM, Matt633Fool wrote:

    Kudos to TMA and TMF for their support! And I agree with richie54 at the top of this thread.

    Thanks Fool for bringing this to our attention and providing an opportunity to make a difference.

    Makes me proud to be a Fool!!

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 12:42 PM, Alg0rhythm wrote:

    Good stuff.. happy to help with a comment.. very significantly better results. still applauding 62 percent proficency on average seems a little low. But it may be difficult to achieve than much better in low income district for other reasons......

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 12:53 PM, astewboy2 wrote:

    Love the choice again, here's a dime.

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 12:53 PM, astewboy2 wrote:

    Oh wait, here's another one.

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 12:53 PM, astewboy2 wrote:

    And another

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 12:53 PM, astewboy2 wrote:

    And another

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 12:54 PM, astewboy2 wrote:

    Wait, one more.......yes

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 12:56 PM, astewboy2 wrote:

    I am in education and wish that there were more sites of innovation and excellence like this charter school. I've always been a fan of charter schools rather than private voucher programs, where there's not as much accountability. I wish them all the success in the world, and, oh yeah, another dime.

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 1:48 PM, bernbern0 wrote:

    I put your 10 cents where my mouth is, and I just made a donation to that great school. thank you Motley Fool!

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 2:22 PM, ditto1940 wrote:

    WE need more scools like this one

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 2:33 PM, 1sweet1 wrote:

    Congratulations to the Thurgood Marshall Academy and to the Fools for their eleemosynary choice *had to stay up all night to find that word).

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 2:54 PM, Duwango wrote:

    "eleemosynary"

    yep, it's in my Funk and Wagnals!

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 3:42 PM, Radiance08 wrote:

    Keep up the good work

    It’s never to late

    To change the gate

    That’s entered

    Whether it is for the fool

    Or for the wise.

    Thank you for stepping up and helping

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 5:39 PM, Gary06 wrote:

    Great idea! Stack up those dimes!

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2010, at 11:38 PM, Duwango wrote:

    One a penny, two a penny, three a penny more

    four a penny, five a penny, six a penny open the door,

    seven a penny, eight a penny, nine a penny grow,

    10 a penny, means more

    for Thrugood Marshall go!!!!!!!!!!

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2010, at 3:08 PM, srkenne264 wrote:

    Excellent

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2010, at 8:52 AM, woodNfish wrote:

    Well, it is very nice of Fool to do this, and it is your choice, but the truth is that the only thing that is going to help public education in this country is to get rid of it and go to a voucher system.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2010, at 2:52 PM, righteoussis wrote:

    Great selection...wish we could clone this type of educational results!

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2010, at 6:24 PM, nhawk53 wrote:

    I am new to Caps and to investing. Your support of Thurgood Marshall Academy hit a cord within me. I came from a hard scrabble backround.We burned coal in the place we lived to keep warm. My parents, teachers, coaches, and neighbors gave me love, discipline, and expectations. Not everyone is as lucky as me. Bravo to all of you! This will make a real difference.

  • Report this Comment On December 03, 2010, at 3:32 PM, Barrett66 wrote:

    So, can you tell us how much has been donated so far, how many replies? Can we do this more than once? I certainly hope so, you can't put a price on quality financial teaching with kids these days! We need to pick a new school each month and do this!

  • Report this Comment On December 03, 2010, at 3:33 PM, Barrett66 wrote:

    Mkaes me proud to be a MFool!

  • Report this Comment On December 03, 2010, at 3:34 PM, Barrett66 wrote:

    Maybe they should giving spelling lessons to adults too. That was terrible of me! But hey, it just made another dime for a good cause...

  • Report this Comment On December 03, 2010, at 4:45 PM, seacraft23 wrote:

    great!

  • Report this Comment On December 03, 2010, at 6:43 PM, Duwango wrote:

    Happy Channukah,

    to those who celebrate it and to those that

    do not.

    I love a word that can not be misspelled.

    It's phonetic, so anything goes.

  • Report this Comment On December 03, 2010, at 6:46 PM, Duwango wrote:

    I am expecting a graduate of Thurgood Marshall

    Academy at some point to be a chief justice.

    Add your comment, they need lots of dimes!

  • Report this Comment On December 03, 2010, at 7:31 PM, Vadermort wrote:

    +1 dime

  • Report this Comment On December 03, 2010, at 11:18 PM, cduncan80 wrote:

    absolutely fantastic! now let's get the rest of our public schools up to your standard!

    + 10 cents!

  • Report this Comment On December 05, 2010, at 1:01 PM, Astound wrote:

    Education, what do we need education for, it is just costly babysitting. Tea party rules as America slides.

  • Report this Comment On December 05, 2010, at 1:23 PM, KVoce2 wrote:

    This article reinforces what we teachers know: it takes a support structure for kids to succeed. When the family cannot provide that, for whatever reason, it must come from the school and community. And that requires extra money, no matter how you cut it. The greedy in our society must face this fact and share the wealth or our country will, in the end, lose its lead in the world.

  • Report this Comment On December 06, 2010, at 10:48 AM, luna715 wrote:

    thanks for the good work for the students.

  • Report this Comment On December 06, 2010, at 8:38 PM, txbee wrote:

    A great cause, education of our kids is so important to the future.

  • Report this Comment On December 07, 2010, at 11:03 PM, lucia316 wrote:

    Cha-ching!

  • Report this Comment On December 09, 2010, at 2:21 AM, 650nm wrote:

    I'd like to see just a sliver of -mismanaged- military funding get redirected into education programs, though I'm personally a little bit against "achievement" when it's too easily confused with achieving for achieving's sake.

  • Report this Comment On December 09, 2010, at 6:17 PM, fuzzylou wrote:

    Add my 10 cents please!

  • Report this Comment On December 09, 2010, at 6:33 PM, paradigms wrote:

    Kudos to Thurgood Marshall for developing an impressive charter school with enviable student success metrics. As the son of a schoolteacher from the Philippines, I care about education -- particularly at the high school level -- so reading about TMA was encouraging, and I wouldn't be surprised if a few more charter schools were developed in TMA's likeness in DC or elsewhere. Just wanted to share my two -- er, I mean ten -- cents.

  • Report this Comment On December 11, 2010, at 12:26 PM, rombeng1 wrote:

    This is what makes this country great!

    --as well as the likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and recently, the 26-year old Zuckerberg who've pledged billion dollar donations for the good of mankind!

  • Report this Comment On December 14, 2010, at 7:43 PM, Satnath wrote:

    Hats off to the people behind TMA! We need schools like that in every neighborhood with poor people.

  • Report this Comment On December 17, 2010, at 1:35 AM, KDohermann wrote:

    So I contacted Motley Fool to see if I could pay for my subscription prior to Dec 31st when it was due. The reply was that I could save $50 by paying even a day early so I paid two weeks early and donated the $50 savings to Thurgood Marshall. Yeah I love when good things happen!

  • Report this Comment On December 18, 2010, at 4:26 PM, mabl wrote:

    Kudos to TMF for their support of this wonderful institution. And kudos to TMA for the work they are doing. The alum support is a innovative and wonderful idea that should be copied everywhere!

    mabl

  • Report this Comment On December 20, 2010, at 12:38 PM, pjelotta wrote:

    Great Idea! There should be one in every state.

  • Report this Comment On December 20, 2010, at 2:55 PM, ga121289 wrote:

    In the underworld of illegal gambling, a dime means one thousand dollars. Wonder how many fools who so eagerly posted their 10 cents are gamblers? Put me down for a penny to help your good work.

  • Report this Comment On December 22, 2010, at 12:16 PM, seattleskifool wrote:

    Thanks for your good work and for this worthwhile project.

  • Report this Comment On December 27, 2010, at 9:53 PM, SunnyDH wrote:

    I think we should all commit to Foolanthropic giving.

    Rah Rah!

  • Report this Comment On December 30, 2010, at 3:05 PM, spy55 wrote:

    Thank you staff of Thurgood Marshall school for your excellent work. Thanks, TMF for donating .10.

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1382646, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/22/2014 12:29:15 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement