Millions of students rely on our public schools for their education. While systems often get blamed for not measuring up, the fact is many educators and teachers are going above and beyond.
The “I Know I Can” hook in Nas’s classic song applies to Dr. Marcia Lyles, the first female African-American superintendent of Jersey City public schools. Armed with an Ivy League doctorate, she learned how to overcome stereotypes in her own career.
Under her leadership, graduation rates rose, and she initiated new interactive learning programs. She also insisted that her staff place high expectations on every single child in the diverse school system.
At P36K in East New York, Brooklyn, the more than 400 special-needs students range in age from pre-kindergarten to 21 and are facing a wide variety of life challenges. Principal Kevin Lenahan says the attitude of his dedicated staff is always “You can do it.”
Dr. Chris Emdin, the founder of Hip Hop Ed, uses hip hop beats to close the science and math education gap that can trap urban students. His programs produce measurable results and change lives. Emdin is also a professor at Columbia University Teachers College.
LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers