President Obama singled out Bruce Randolph School in Denver in his State of the Union Address on Tuesday night. The President said the school was an example of "what's possible for our children when reform isn't just a top-down mandate, but the work of local teachers and principals; school boards and communities."
Take a school like Bruce Randolph in Denver. Three years ago, it was rated one of the worst schools in Colorado; located on turf between two rival gangs. But last May, 97% of the seniors received their diploma. Most will be the first in their family to go to college. And after the first year of the school's transformation, the principal who made it possible wiped away tears when a student said "Thank you, Mrs. Waters, for showing ... that we are smart and we can make it."
In May, Bruce Randolph graduated 90% of its first graduating class since the school was reorganized as a grades 6-12 school. Eighty-seven percent of those grads were accepted to college.
The school has since been held as a model by education reform advocates. National education reform leaders such as Education Secretary Arne Duncan and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have visited the school.