Northwest Achievement Level Test (NALT) results show that Harvest Preparatory School students outpaced Minneapolis School District students in the area of reading average progress, Harvest officials report. Northwest Achievement Level Test (NALT) results show that Harvest Preparatory School students outpaced Minneapolis School District students in the area of reading average progress, Harvest officials report. Harvest students performed at the national average on this test.
In math, Harvest Preparatory School exceeded all ethnic groups in the Minneapolis school district and exceeded the national average in the number of students making one year or more of progress (see graphs).
The Harvest Prep student population is 100% African American. The alternative school’s philosophy is to produce successful learning experiences for its students by engaging committed adults, positive school culture and an unwavering belief in the capabilities of African American children.
Last year Harvest Prep’s third grade class scored among the top five schools in the state of Minnesota out of over 900 elementary schools in reading. Ninety-two percent of Harvest third graders scored at or above grade level. This year, The Minnesota Department of Education selected Harvest and one other school to represent the state of Minnesota at a national educational conference in Washington D.C. on the topic of closing the achievement gap. Harvest was also recognized by the Center for Educational Reform – a national educational think tank- as the only charter school in Minnesota making substantial progress in student’s achievement.
According to Aretta Rie Johnson, "Over the years, much has been written about the academic achievement gap between Black students and White students. This achievement gap is pervasive and persistent not only in Minnesota, but around the country as well. Minnesota has one of the widest Black/White achievement gaps in the country. One of the reasons for this fact is that White students do very well in comparison to other White students in the country. At the same time, Black students do not fair as well as other Black students in the country taking the same test."
She said everyone "should be concerned about this academic achievement gap. Research shows a direct correlation between the academic achievement gap and the economic gap that exists between Blacks and Whites in this country. Higher academic achievement in school provides a person with a wider range of economic, political and educational choices in this country. Our children’s performance determines the economic, political and social viability of our communities."