Support the Connectors project with your generous donation. Please note that contributions are not tax deductible at this time.

The Black Sphere organization is working with over 300 kids in 6 St. Louis Public Schools through our Education Connectors Program, a partnership with UrbanFUTURE.

We, in partnership with family, school and community, are dedicated to the success of urban youth through character formation, academic growth and career preparation.  We seek to close the academic achievement gap in urban schools by working with 4th – 8th grade students–the most critical grades—to prepare students for success in high school and beyond.

Our intent is to show that while most people are forming committees and subcommittees to assess the problems, we are solving them.

Some facts[i] [many of these costs are conservative estimates]:

  • Cost of a high school drop-out in lost earnings, taxes and productivity is $260,000 over their lifetime1
  • A 5% increase in the male high school graduation rate in MO, would result in nearly $150 million net benefit due to lower levels of incarceration1
  • Missouri saves $12,799 in Medicaid and uninsured coverage with each additional high school graduate1
  • Five year cost to serve an entire Community Cluster (~300 students): $4.5 million
  • Restoration in a Community Cluster will result in 165 more students graduating high school
  • $39.6 million in increased earnings
  • $2.1 million in Medicaid and uninsured savings
  • Net Benefit of Connectors program = $37.2 million
  • Cost-Benefit Ratio – $1 : $8.25

Our success so far…

No Child Left Behind mandated tests – MAP Missouri Assessment Program tests

  • Schools are judged are there ability to raise student achievement on standardized tests
  • Proficiency is benchmark of student who has mastered grade level expectations and determines whether a school has met Adequate Yearly Progress for NCLB

MAP Growth 2009-2010

The above graph compares “Connector” students to standard students at one of our elementary school sites.  Connector students outgrew standard students by 2.5 times in Communication Arts and over 7 times in Mathematics

[i] Source: “Dropouts, Diplomas and Dollars: U.S. High Schools and the Nation’s Economy”, Jason Amos, Alliance for Excellent Education. 2008.

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