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By Marge Scherer

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Clearing the way for an ambitious but previously undistinguished student at Quaker Valley to tackle trigonometry led to a similar blossoming. Nakia aspired to be a doctor, but she realized her course trajectory would not allow her to take a calculus class before graduation. She approached the principal with a proposal to work through an honors-level trigonometry course over the summer, requesting only that we give her the book the class would use and the green light for finding a tutor. School staff members had doubts but supported Nakia’s efforts.

We had a lot of help, and people had our backs at June Jordan, but they also made sure that we were able to take care of ourselves when we needed to. … My life is just beginning, and it was a great thing to have June Jordan to start. , 2007). The schools—Animo Inglewood Charter High School (Los Angeles); Stanley E. Foster Construction Tech Academy (San Diego); June Jordan School for Equity (San Francisco); Leadership High School (San Francisco); and New Technology High School (Sacramento)—are located in California’s largest cities and are nonselective in their admissions, yet they have graduation and college-going rates significantly higher than the state average.

Schools should have flexibility to determine how to use this time. • Support high-quality professional development in the specific areas teachers need to be effective. This includes increasing support for sustained, curriculum-focused professional learning institutes as well as coaching models that help teachers put ideas into practice. • Support training for professional development providers and mentors to ensure they learn about successful methods of teaching students of color and English language learners.

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