The Gatton Academy's Director Attends Cooke Foundation Summit
- Zack Ryle
- Wednesday, February 11th, 2015
Dr. Lynette Breedlove, Director of The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky, joined school leaders and experts from across the country last week at a two-day summit located outside of the nation’s capital to identify solutions to close the excellence gap—the troubling disparity in academic performance between lower income and higher income students at advanced levels.
“Closing the Excellence Gap: Advocating for High-Achieving, Low-Income Students” on Feb. 5-6 was convened by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, which offers the largest scholarships in the country to high-performing students who have financial need.
Dr. Breedlove was personally invited by the Cooke Foundation to collaborate with more than 100 other principals of selective high schools as well as leaders of organizations such as the National Consortium of Secondary STEM Schools, researchers focused on high-achieving, low-income students, other scholarship providers, education advocates, and John B. King Jr., senior advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, to learn about cutting-edge research on and share and identify best practices for supporting high-achieving, low-income students.
At this landmark event, a new organization of these principals and directors formed, called the Coalition of Leaders for Advanced Students Success, with an agenda to support and advocate for high-achieving students with financial need.
“Kentucky has made a remarkable commitment to high-achieving students through The Gatton Academy,” Dr. Breedlove said. “By providing the funding to cover the tuition, housing and meals, the legislature has demonstrated a commitment to ensuring that students from all backgrounds and income levels will have access to The Gatton Academy. Through the new organization and our continued efforts to recruit students from across the Commonwealth, The Gatton Academy actively supports and advocates for high-achieving, low-income students. Our work to close the excellence gap is just beginning, but with the continued legislative support and the dedication of Kentucky’s educators, we are determined to make progress on this important issue.”
“I wanted to bring these school leaders together to discuss how to better support high-performing students with financial need because I know the high caliber of their leadership and of the education provided at their schools,” said Harold Levy, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and who is a former chancellor of New York City Schools. “This summit confirmed my belief that these leaders have excellent insights to offer policymakers at all levels of government to benefit high-ability students from low and moderate income families.”
About the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation: The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. By offering the largest scholarships in the country, in-depth academic counseling and other direct services, the Foundation seeks to help high-performing, low-income students to develop their talents and excel educationally. In addition to providing students both counseling and financial support from middle school to graduate school, the Foundation provides grants for noteworthy and innovative initiatives that support high-performing, low-income students. Founded in 2000, the Foundation has awarded over $130 million in scholarships to almost 1,900 students and over $80 million in grants.