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Kent-Meridian & Kentridge Highlighted in WA Study for Improving Outcomes for Black Students

Kent-Meridian and Kentridge High Schools are two of 38 schools in Washington highlighted as outliers for supporting positive outcomes for Black students in a recent study from the Center for Educational Effectiveness (CEE) with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The study "Characteristics of Positive Outlier Schools: Illuminating the Strengths of American Indian/Alaska Native, Black, Latino/a, and Students Experiencing Poverty" measured systemic performance and improvement in several areas for over 2,100 schools in Washington State.

The areas measured include attendance, English language arts proficiency (ELA), math performance, readiness for high school, high school course rigor, graduation rates, and progress for English learners.

Using student-level academic and engagement data from 2014 through 2019, the CEE study identified schools in Washington that have successfully removed barriers and created the conditions that amplified existing strengths of Black, Latino/a, American Indian/Alaska Native, and students experiencing poverty.

"We are encouraged that our school's efforts to uplift students of color and low-income students are recognized by the Center for Educational Effectiveness," said Kent-Meridian Principal David Radford in response to the news.

"The challenges we face in supporting all students can be complex, but our entire school team is committed to seeing each student be successful. We strive to create an educational system that supports individual students rather than compel all students down the same path. Our goal is to know each student and their needs and dreams for their future. Then, we help our students connect to the academic programs, activities, and programs that align with their interests and never give up on providing support students need to be successful."

Principal Albrecht of Kentridge High School was also quick to recognize the staff's commitment to supporting every student's academic success and social-emotional well-being for the improved outcomes they are seeing, particularly for Black students.

"The Kentridge staff is excited CEE recognizes the intentional efforts our staff, students, and community to provide a rigorous course of study, career, and post-secondary education readiness and trusting positive culture," said Kentridge Principal Mike Albrecht. "We recognize our past efforts have made a significant change, yet we know that we need to continuously improve to support our Black, Indigenous, and Students of Color."

Superintendent Dr. Calvin J. Watts could not agree more with these school leaders and the overall findings and recommendations of the CEE study.

"I am incredibly proud of the students, staff, and families at Kent-Meridian and Kentridge and their collective efforts towards educational equity," said Dr. Watts. "We appreciate that the educational research community is elevating the positive outcomes we're seeing every day, particularly the success and resilience of our Black, Indigenous, and Students of Color."

You can view The Center for Educational Effectiveness' full report or a report brief.