Our network

ASMSA director participates in Cooke Foundation summit | Community Spirit

Title (Max 100 Characters)

ASMSA director participates in Cooke Foundation summit
ASMSA director participates in Cooke Foundation summit

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (ASMSA) - Corey Alderdice, director of the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, joined school leaders and experts from across the country last week at a summit focusing on the 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” was a two-day summit hosted by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation on Feb. 5-6 in Washington, D.C. The Cooke Foundation in a nonprofit organization that offers the largest scholarships in the country to high-performing students who have financial need.

Alderdice was invited by the foundation to collaborate with more than 100 principals and directors 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 adviser to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The group learned about cutting edge research as well as sharing and identifying best practices for supporting high-achieving, low-income students.

The principals and directors formed a new organization called the Coalition of Leaders for Advanced Students Success with an agenda to support and advocate for these students.

“We are leaders in our communities who have a stake in nurturing talent wherever we find it and regardless of a student’s economic status,” Alderdice said.  “We need talent to remain competitive as a nation.  This summit underscored the fact that school is part of the solution.”

“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.”

The Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts is one of 16 public residential high schools in the country specializing in the education of academically gifted juniors and seniors. The school was ranked No. 10 in the nation by The Daily Beast, a leading national news website, in its 2014 survey of “America’s Top High Schools.” ASMSA was ranked the top high school in Arkansas. To learn more about ASMSA, visit www.asmsa.org.

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 these students. Founded in 2000, the Foundation has awarded more than $130 million in scholarships to almost 1,900 students and more than $80 million in grants. For more information about the foundation, visit www.jkcf.org