In 2008, when Berkeley formally adopted a sweeping initiative, called 2020 Vision for Berkeley Children and Youth, “to end the disparities in academic achievement that exist along racial lines among children and youth in Berkeley”, every one had high hopes. Unfortunately, Berkeley is nowhere close to achieving that goal. In fact, it has one of the largest racial and ethnic achievement gaps in the nation, according to research by Stanford University’s Sean Reardon and his colleagues.
The results of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) tests, administered to some 3.1 million students in grades 3-8 and grade 11, were released October 2019 by the state Department of Education. Achievement gaps highlighted by the exam also remained stark. The state’s Black students (33% proficiency in reading and 20.55% in math) and Latino students (40.56% passing in reading and 28% in math) far underperformed their white and Asian peers.. Although the achievement gaps have narrowed between Latino and white students, as well as between poor and more affluent pupils, the achievement gap has not narrowed for Black students and math scores remain “at a disappointingly low level”.
It is time for the community leaders and local businesses to step up with an answer to solve the achievement gap for Black students. It is our goal to strengthen family engagement and provide out of school support, resources and self paced educational learning mediums to work towards closing the achievement gap.
ICS is working with DMMSI to provide their K-12 Virtual Reading, Writing, and Coding Program called SOLU7ION to Black students in Berkeley, CA. By combining the 3 Rs and the 4 Cs, SOLU7ION is a complete program that improves reading literacy, writing literacy, mathematics, and 21 century skills such as critical thinking and coding.
Through SOLU7ION ICS Will:
- Provide virtual tutoring and mentoring to students in math, reading, and writing.
- Provide unlimited access to a digital library for students to read via their mobile phones. Students will have access to thousands of titles based upon their current Lexile score with an AI interface to help students improve their reading level. Students will also have access to library tools such as audio reading, definition tool, pronunciation, highlighting and more.
- Provide virtual book report writing support to work with students on improving their grammar and conveying their understanding in writing.
- Meet students at their individual level, allow them to learn at their own pace, and choose their own topics of interest to use to improve their literacy.
The Cost ~ How One Can Support
It costs $349 per student to access SOLU7ION for 12 months. ICS is looking to provide SOLU7ION to 250-500 Black K-12 students throughout Berkeley, CA starting October 2020. We will run SOLU7ION annually. After 2-3 years of providing SOLU7ION, it is ICS' goal to show BUSD our improvement results and the need for all students to have access to SOLU7ION. Since it will cost $87,250 to $174,500 to provide SOLU7ION to 250-500 students, ICS is looking for outside support to help us cover the cost for students. Several ways in which one can support:
- Offer ICS Literacy or STEM Education Grants for K-12 Students
- Send ICS a Special Occasion tax-exempt donation to: Inter-City Services, Inc., 3269 Adeline Street, Berkeley, CA 94703. Please attention your donation to our Executive Director: Mansour Id-Deen and specify that is for our K-12 Education Program.
- Become A Sponsor and receive marketing exposure on our website and our partner DMMSI's website and publications. Click Here To Learn More.
ICS & DMMSI's Past Partnership
In 2016 & 2017 ICS & DMMSI® teamed up to provide STEM Programs to Elementary Students in the Berkeley Area. Students learned how to build a computer, communicate via binary, and explore areas of their personal interest. Go to our old website flyer to learn more about our work through this past partnership.