Press Release

WASHINGTON (November 5, 2012) — On Thursday, Nov. 8, The Education Trust will present the 10th Annual Dispelling the Myth Awards to three public schools from across the country that are educating low-income students and students of color to high academic levels.

“Through strong leadership, hard work and exceedingly high expectations, these schools are helping all of their students succeed,” said Kati Haycock, president of The Education Trust. “The Dispelling the Myth Award recipients offer continued proof that low-income children can achieve at very high levels when the schools they attend really focus on the achievement of every child.”

This year’s Dispelling the Myth Award recipients are:

  • Edward W. Brooke Charter School–Roslindale Campus, Boston
  • De Queen Elementary School, De Queen, Ark.
  • Laurel Street Elementary School, Compton, Calif.

The award recognizes schools that successfully serve large populations of low-income students and students of color. Each award recipient has made big gains in student learning and now far exceeds averages in its respective state.  By highlighting the work of these outstanding schools, the award program seeks to disprove the damaging untruth that academic achievement is solely driven by a student’s background rather than the quality of the education they receive.

The 2012 Dispelling the Myth awardees will be honored for their important work during The Education Trust 2012 National Conference. Entitled “Getting It Done! Raising Achievement, Closing Gaps For All,” the conference convenes educators and advocates from across the country to discuss effective strategies for closing the gaps in achievement and opportunity that persist in our nation’s K-12 schools. This year’s Dispelling the Myth Awards dinner will also feature remarks by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and a special performance by Grammy-nominated a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey In The Rock.

About the 2012 Dispelling the Myth Award winners:

Edward W. Brooke Charter School–Roslindale Campus


With 470 students in kindergarten to 8th grade, most of whom are low-income and African American, Edward W. Brooke Charter School’s Roslindale Campus focuses on getting underserved students to and through college. With its students far outperforming state averages in English-language arts and math, and with high placement rates in the city’s exam schools and private high schools, Brooke Roslindale offers a laudable example of what educators can do to help their students succeed. Kimberly Steadman, former principal, gives all the credit to the great teachers working in the school: “You have to really focus on teaching and professional development that helps teachers get better every day.”

De Queen Elementary School

De Queen, Ark.

At rural De Queen Elementary School — where almost two-thirds of the students are Latino and 80 percent are from low-income families — about 90 percent of students meet or exceed state reading and math standards. Not that the teachers and administrators are satisfied. They know current state standards are not good enough. A sign on the literacy coach’s desk — “CCSS Ninja” — demonstrates their enthusiasm for the Common Core State Standards, which they say will help them prepare their students for college and careers better than ever before.

Laurel Street Elementary School

Compton, Calif.

Laurel Street Elementary School sports a brand new decoration: a mural representing its newly earned status as a California Distinguished School. In 2011, the school earned a 927 on the state Academic Performance Index, representing high achievement across grades and subjects. Most schools that score that high are located in wealthy communities. At Laurel Street, though, more than three-quarters of the students come from low-income families and nearly two-thirds are limited English proficient. “We want … every one of our scholars to be able to compete with kids from all over the state, all over the nation, [and] all over the world,” says Principal Frank Lozier.

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