Around Cal

Berkeley Magazine, Summer 1999


Seeking ways to improve the performance of students in low income, inner city schools, the nation's leaders are looking to the Berkeley Pledge as a model. The innovative Cal pilot project, launched four years ago, is improving the academic performance of hundreds of K-12 students in Berkeley, Oakland, West Contra Costa County and San Francisco.

In February, U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley applauded the Pledge, a select group of campus outreach programs, during his State of American Education speech. Members of his staff then visited Pledge schools and were impressed to see Cal students, faculty and staff helping with curriculum development, teacher training, mentoring, tutoring and plans for summer school.

According to 19971998 data, the Pledge has helped boost youngsters' math and literacy scores. At El Cerrito High School, the number of African American students taking advanced math has more than tripled in four years.

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