Charter School modeled on UK School

Urban Prep, also known as "Hogwarts in the Hood," is a charter school located in inner-city Chicago. According to its website, the similarities between Hogwarts and Urban Prep include school houses. Whereas the wizarding school has four houses--Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin--Urban Prep has six "Prides" that compete against each other for academic, athletic, and extracurricular points.
"We've been incredibly successful," the founder and president of Urban Prep, Tim King, tells me. "All our students are African-American, about 85% are low income and 100% of our classes have gone on to college."

In 2010 and 2011, 100% of students who graduated from Urban Prep were accepted to college.

"It's extraordinary when you think about it because the number of African-Americans who go on to college in our country, the numbers are really low."

Another cliche is that the only way out for some kids is to become a rapper or a sports star.

Mr King says he wants to create role models who are engineers and scientists. Even getting a college degree makes a big difference.

"Education is key. It can become trite when you hear it, but it is really true," he says.

Link -via BBC

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I work at a charter school with a mixed-race student body (although given our location it's 75% Hispanic with Spanish as a first language, and 85% of families fall below the poverty line).

Honestly, I find this inspiring. The flatly-stated expectation that students from the school DO go on to college mirrors my own experience in a private, tuitioned college prep school--and yes, I do think that in itself encourages a certain student culture. Similarly, I like the intra-school competitions between each "pride". In going over their website, I think the Harry Potter comparisons have more to do with ignorant media and publicity, but nonetheless, you tell a student that they are part of an elite for being selected (even by random lottery!) for a school and then challenge them to meet that bar ... inevitably, if it's a part of the peer culture, the students will meet you there.
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While I commend the efforts and clearly, they have paid off, I can't help but wonder how the notion would go over if an all white school were to attempt the same. I think an all white school would be equally advantageous as there are also many underprivileged, low income white students waiting for their chance to succeed and excel but are limited in their options as well. This preferential treatment is racism in it's purest form and will always be viewed as segregation regardless of color. But then so is Affirmative Action...
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One thing that does work well is a uniform.

It's a good equalizer, brings people together in a team-way, and also leads them to be more evaluated on their individual character.

It can teach those with too much pride in their appearance to chill it out, and those with too little, the importance of standards.

Like the idea of brainy, calming music playing in the halls, too.

As long as they do things similar to the school in "Outliers", I can't see the harm in the Hogwarts-inspired stuff.
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