If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. – Derek Bok
High poverty schools often have a low rate of achievement, with students more likely to end up incarcerated than in college. Drop out rates are staggering, resulting in young people reaching adulthood undereducated, unprepared for the workforce and ultimately unequipped to craft a life of meaning and value. So when a school soars beyond the boundaries of poverty, low expectations, and what may seem like the norm, it is worth studying their story, their journey, their programs and practices, and the mindset behind their success towards better outcomes for all students.
Schoolwise is a new initiative of the UNC Charlotte Urban Education Collaborative in which researchers will study the high achievement of Sugar Creek Charter School and other schools, using what they learn toward creating a model to improve student achievement on a larger scale. Launched with seed money from the K-8 charter school, Schoolwise is a one-of-a-kind partnership in the Charlotte region.
Dr. Lewis formerly served as the Houston Endowed Chair and Associate Professor of Urban Education in the College of Education at Texas A&M University and as co-director of the Center for Urban School Partnerships. Prior to that, he was as an assistant professor at Colorado State University. Dr. Lewis began his education career in Baton Rouge Parish Schools where he earned State Teacher of the Year honors in 1997. He has authored over 100 publications and consulted with school districts and universities across the United States and Canada.
Ayana Allen, Ph.D. | Dr. Allen is the Post-Doctoral Research Associate for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Urban Education Collaborative. Upon completion of her B.A. with Honors from UNC- Chapel Hill, Dr. Allen joined the 2001 Teach for America Houston Corp where she served for seven years as a first grade teacher and a literacy specialist. She received several awards for teaching excellence, including Teacher of the Year, Houston Area Alliance of Black School Educators Outstanding Teaching Award, and Houston ISD East Region’s Outstanding Young Educator Award. Most recently, Dr. Allen served as Director of College Counseling and Alumni Programs at YES Prep Southwest in Houston, Texas. Dr. Allen received her Ph.D. in Educational Curriculum & Instruction from Texas A&M University in 2010.
Frank Martin, Chairman, Board of Directors, Sugar Creek Charter School | Frank Martin was one of the founding directors of Sugar Creek Charter School in 1998 and currently serves as its board chairman. He is the managing partner of a Charlotte, NC real estate company and for more than 30 years has been among Charlotte’s most active developers, with work including condominium, townhouse, single family residential, mixed use, commercial and medical office developments.
Frank has a B.A. from UNC-Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar, and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a Spencer Love Fellow. He is a past president of the Charlotte Homebuilders, commissioner of the Charlotte Housing Authority, and chairman of the Harvest Center homeless ministry.