Veritas College Preparatory Charter School
Who we are: My name is Tim Ware and I am the Lead Founder and Executive Director of Veritas College Preparatory Charter School in Memphis, Tennessee and I believe that equity in education is the most pressing civil rights issue that our nation faces today.
Our nation’s failure to systematically provide an academically rigorous public education that prepares minority and low-income students to compete with their White and more affluent counterparts, has effectively allowed a pattern of de facto discrimination to exist almost undeterred within our borders. This failure has yielded the following results:
Nationally only 14% of African Americans read at or above grade level. By the 4th Grade students living in poverty are already two to three grade levels behind their peers in both reading and mathematics.
Nationally only 51% of African American students will graduate from high school by the age of 18.
Only 18% of all college ready high school graduates are African American or Latino.
Only one of ten (10%) of students growing up in poverty will graduate form college.
However, as the savage academic inequalities that have served to help create and maintain two nations, both separate and unequal (a Jonathan Kozol reference) have been brought to the forefront of our nation’s collective consciousness, there is a ever increasing emergence of academics, business leaders, politicians and religious leaders from all walks of life that are synergistically working at the local, state and national levels to eliminate the achievement gap once and for all. I believe that nearly every social ill that plagues underserved minority communities and creates ripple effects throughout our nation can be directly linked to a lack of access to adequate education. Rampant unemployment, crime rates, incarceration rates, drop-out rates, pregnancy rates, low rates of college preparedness and by extension college attendance and graduation can all be countered by laying a foundation of excellence in core course education at the pre-K through grade twelve levels. In these United States, education truly serves as the “great equalizer”.
In Memphis, Tennessee, Veritas College Preparatory Charter School is committed to using 100% of our time and leveraging 100% of our resources to ensuring that every scholar that receives a grade six through eight education in our halls of learning will be fully prepared to experience the myriad of opportunities and experiences that are available to them. Veritas Prep recruits, hires and trains high capacity professionals and implements proven national best practices to ensure that our organization remains viable and our instruction is driving the academic needle forward each moment of each day.
Mission: Veritas College Preparatory Charter School prepares Memphis students in grades six through eight to excel in high school and college as accomplished scholars and to contribute to their communities as ethical leaders.
Social Impact Number 1: Increased Earning Power Studies show that individuals receiving a college degree have the ability to increase their lifetime earnings by over one million dollars. This earning power provides an individual with the ability to control the destiny not only of their life but of the lives of their children and their children’s children. Scholars who break the pernicious cycles of generational poverty completely alter the trajectory of multiple generations of children.
Social Impact Number 2: Graduation from a Four-year College or University Our goal is that each scholar that matriculates out of Veritas Prep after three years of instruction will graduate from a four-year college or university eight school years after the leave our halls of learning and four years after they graduate from high school. The first cohort of sixth grade scholars at Veritas Prep is expected to graduate from college in 2021 and thus is referred to as the Class of 2021. Beginning in 2021, we will have final bodies of data that determine our effectiveness at achieving our goal.
Social Impact Number 3: College Readiness To ensure that our scholars are college ready, we will hire a Director of Placement in the 2012-13 school year who’s primary responsibility is to ensure that each scholar is placed in a high school of the parents choice that can effectively provide the scholar with a high quality college prep high school education that prepares the scholar for college admission immediately after their senior year of high school. Beginning in April of 2009, I began establishing relationships with various high performing private and independent schools in Memphis and discussing scholarship options for our scholars. Scholar’s academic performance will be monitored and resources will be provided to ensure that the success began at Veritas will continue throughout high school.
Social Impact Number 4: Ethical Leadership At Veritas Prep scholars are provided with and ethical compass and with the social capital necessary to ensure that they take ownership for their own actions and that they use their talents to impact those around them for the betterment of the community.