Twenty-eight Cristo Rey schools serve 9,000 students, nearly all low-income and working-class Latinos and blacks. Each student’s family contributes $1,000 for tuition, on average. Employers pay the rest — and provide one day a week of work experience for students.
Ninety percent of Cristo Rey’s 2014 graduates enrolled in college.
A new San Jose school is using self-paced, “blended” learning to help students catch up in an intensive summer program.
Cristo Rey is showing that “education can untie the Gordian knot of poverty,” writes Daniel Porterfield in Forbes.
The weekly work experiences helped students mature. They learned work etiquette and became problem-solvers. They figured out how to talk with adults of all ages and ethnicities. They discovered that they liked working. It gave them new skills and self-confidence.
The jobs showed them why school matters too. They could see that there was real opportunity in their city’s local economy—and that adults with college degrees had interesting careers that paid well.