This makes me so proud and happy. Please watch. https://t.co/1kPEsrPxPz
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) September 17, 2021
That’s U.S. Senator Cory Booker tweeting about CBS’s coverage of Camden Prep, a renaissance school in Camden operated by the non-profit charter network Uncommon Schools. The school serves about 900 students in grades K-12; 97% are economically-disadvantaged, 78% are Black, and 22% are Hispanic.
Camden Prep’s time in the spotlight of national television is due to exceptional student growth. As host Norah McDonald noted, the percentage of Camden Prep students who are at or above grade level in math soared from 3% in 2014 to 60% in 2019. In reading, there was an increase from 4% to 50% during the same time period.
Principal Susanna Tagoe explained,
Camden is not just the boarded up houses that you see. There are lives, there are brilliant, beautiful scholars. There are families who love their kids, who are passionate about education, passionate about equity, passionate about change. That proves that a ZIP code does not determine your ability.
Fifth-grader Rashad McCray told McDonald, “when I go to school, I see my teachers and my classmates and I think, ‘OK, I’m going to be comfortable here.'”