Scholarship Prep - "Miracle on 17th Street"

October 11, 2018

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Scholarship Prep-Santa Ana, cofounded by California State Senator (Ret) Gloria Romero and Jason Watts, opened its doors in August 2016. Its mission is to provide a university-inspired pathway of success while closing the achievement gap for all students, including foster youth and those underserved. And, Scholarship Prep's vision seeks to establish a sustainable education program where scholarship is the standard, diversity is treasured, and parents are partners in student achievement.

"After years of trying to reform schools as a legislator, folks kept asking me why didn't I just start my own. So I did! The school was premised on a no-excuses leadership philosophy and a commitment to closing stark achievement gaps and accelerating academic growth, particularly, for low income students from predominantly Latino and African-American communities," said Romero.

The school has a 96% Hispanic student population, 85% socioeconomically disadvantaged, and 56% English learners. It reflects the same community as Santa Ana and Los Angeles school districts, where they are and where they are proposing their new location. However, their school's results are remarkably different.

In two short years, the school has significantly outperformed every similar school in the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD), and outperformed longstanding charter schools. From the 2016-17 to the 2017-18 school year, Scholarship prep improved 19 percentage points on the CAASPP, moving from 31% to 50% of students meeting or exceeding standards in English Language Arts. The school increased 36 percentage points, from 21%to 57% of students meeting or exceeding standards in Math during the same time period. Santa Ana Unified had 30% of students meeting standards in ELA and only 24% of students meeting standards in Math.

Scholarship Prep EL students outperformed SAUSD by an incredible 24 points in English Language Arts and an astounding 40 points in math on CAASPP in 2018.

With all the success under its belt, the Scholarship Prep team has its sights on opening a third campus, in Lomita-Harbor City, in time for the 2019-20 school year. The board will vote on November 27.