Closing the Achievement Gap
Rising Above Education Standards
Driving down the streets of inner city Minneapolis, one can glimpse a multitude of ethnic groups. The same diversity that makes our city beautiful presents us with challenges that naturally occur when cultures cohabitate. With such a concentration of minorities, Hope Academy desires to do our best to help close the achievement gap, that affects many of our neighbors.
According to Wikipedia, “The achievement gap in the United States refers to the observed, persistent disparity in measures of educational performance among subgroups of U.S. students, especially groups defined by socioeconomic status (SES), race/ethnicity and gender.”
What that means is that specifically minority children are behind their peers in reading, math, and other subjects. Hope Academy believes Academically Disenfranchised, Culturally Diverse, and Economically Disadvantaged children matter, and therefore they deserve an education worthy of image bearers.
What tactics do we use help our students?
Hope classrooms are marked by discipline, high expectations, an extended school year, and standardized testing that informs the way we teach our students.
We keep our class sizes small, averaging only 20 students per classroom. We feel that strong teacher-student-parent relationships are vital to the successful outcome we are striving for.
Beginning in seventh grade at Hope Academy, students have their math and language courses in combined-gender classrooms — but almost all of our other core courses at Hope Academy happen in single-gender classrooms. We believe this helps reinforce serious study.
We provide a rigorous classical curriculum, including Latin, Music, Art, and P.E., as well as a mandatory four-week summer school program for our elementary and middle school grades.
Hope Academy also provides an Academic Support Center that is designed to help ensure that not a single student falls through the cracks.
Raising Standards of Expectations
At Hope Academy, we believe that our students can and will achieve what is required of them – which is why we place high standards on academic achievement, knowing that our students can reach the goals placed before them. Over 90% of Hope Academy High School students are at grade level in Math & Reading!
Our goal is that all graduates of Hope Academy would be prepared for college-level work. Students are required to take four years each of our six core courses: Humane Letters, Writing/Rhetoric/Speech/Drama, Bible, Science, Math, and Foreign Language. Additional academic courses contribute to the development of a solid classical liberal arts education, with offerings in physical fitness, health, music, art, and others.
Why Do We Care?
Hope Academy cares deeply about the success of the students and their families. Our efforts to close the achievement gap spring from our belief that every human being is created in the image of God is absolutely stunning in its majesty and grandeur, and its implications are weighty, almost beyond comprehension. We believe that no child should be warehoused, rather, our job is to do the really hard work of cultivating virtue and Christ-like character by shepherding students’ hearts.
We desire for our students to know the One of whom it is said, in Psalm 111:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!”
We desire that our students to be successful in ALL areas of their lives, especially the life to come!
To learn more about why we take education so seriously, we encourage you to read the text of Imago Dei Education: Bearing the Burden of My Neighbor’s Glory, a talk delivered recently by Russ Gregg, our Head of School.
To learn more about enrolling your child at Hope Academy, visit us.
To partner with us in closing the achievement gap, see our Growing Hope Campaign page.