Is YES Prep Failing Its Black Students?

Gary Rubinstein's Blog

YES Prep is a charter school network in Houston with very close ties to Teach For America.  It was founded in 1995 by Chris Barbic, a 1992 TFA corps member.  Many of the teachers at the YES campuses are from TFA as is the current head of schools, Jeremy Beard.  Jeremy Beard is also the husband of Elisa Villanueva-Beard who is the CEO of TFA.

In 2010, YES was awarded a million dollars by Oprah Winfrey, in part because of their incredible record of getting 100% of their 12th graders to be accepted into college.  This was before people knew to ask, “But what percent of your 9th graders remained in the school to become 12th graders?”

Regardless, YES continued to grow into what is now 12 middle schools and 5 high schools.  The success of YES helped its founder, Chris Barbic, to get a job as the…

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