A guest commentary in Sunday’s edition of the Kansas City Star positions Evanston Township High School as a model for the parents of school-aged children in Kansas City to emulate.
The author, Gilda Williams, says that Kansas Citians ought to take a look at her alma mater, ETHS, to see how adequate funding, coupled with a commitment to equity, can create a high school that consistently ranks among the tops in the nation.
Williams, who the newspaper identifies as “a former Chicago-based newspaper reporter with a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri,” notes that ETHS, which consistently ranks as one of the top schools in the country by the Washington Post and the U.S. News and World Report, offers proof that “a diverse school district can outperform affluent, predominantly white school districts.”
It quotes assistant ETHS superintendent Peter Bavis as saying that as the school has gotten more diverse, it has achieved the highest ACT scores (above the state and national averages) in its 135-year history for several years now.
Some 36 percent of black students are enrolled in advanced placement classes, as are 43 percent of Hispanic students. The school’s four-year graduation rate is 92 percent, and 80 percent go on to college, she notes.
Williams concludes that the school board’s mission statement says it all: “Evanston High is committed to equity because excellence for all students requires equity.”