Reflections on Successful Schools

As I mentioned in my first post, I recently visited schools and celebrated back to school time out west.

I had the pleasure of visiting a school in Tacoma, Washington – Lincoln High School – on its first day of school. Specifically, I toured the high school’s Lincoln Learning Center program – a small program in its 3rd year that offers its students extended learning time and a strong dose of college-prep support. Any Lincoln High student who wants to be a part of Lincoln Learning Center is accepted into the program, and both Lincoln High and Lincoln Learning Center serve populations that are high minority and high poverty.

The program is amazing. I met some wonderful students and top-notch instructors. The academic progress students are making at the Lincoln Learning Center is impressive. Above all, I experienced a moment I’ll never forget: I asked the students in an English class to raise their hands if they planned on going to college. And, all the hands in the room went up.

This made my day, if not my week! Classrooms like this one – and programs like the one at Lincoln – are what is going to get us to President’s Obama 2020 goal: for this country to have the highest rate of college completion in the world. I applaud the incredible students, teachers, and school leaders at the Lincoln Center, as well as all of the students, teachers, and school leaders across the country doing similarly amazing work. You serve as models for others by preparing our students for success.

Dr. Meléndez