Education Dueling Street Cred


Full Definition of CRED: credibility; specifically: the ability to gain acceptance as a member of a particular group or class 
For the first time, Horizonte, Salt Lake City School District’s alternative high school and adult education provider, has created a senior student track for its best scholars called Horizonte Rising.
Its purpose is to prepare selected seniors, typically with the highest grade point averages, to highly score on competency and entrance exams,  the TABE and Accuplacer, apply for federal financial assistance (FAFSA), and be poised for college or School of Applied Technology (SAT) registration and admission.
As a group they are attending at least five of their seven classes.  They, almost all Hispanic,  were told they were selected because of past attendance, scholastic performance and teacher-sensed college interest and capability.  Some received the news as unexpected but embarrassing.  Others were gleeful and vocalized an anticipated gift of their senior year.
These are all students who were unsuccessful at traditional public high school.  When they came to Horizonte they were all behind because of absenteeism, sickness, family problems, crime, drugs, etc.  They’ve been working to catch up.  They’re believed to have the grit to graduate not just from Horizonte but college too.
This recognition of being outstanding among their peers was received by the group with the “street cred” they’ve developed to be accepted by their socio-economically under-represented family and community–individually edifying but disregarded for the group.  Many responded in class to their peers like they didn’t deserve to be there.
They were asked to individually write a statement of their goals for their senior year, and their life ahead.  Privately to their advisor/teacher/coach they each expressed a desire to continue working to distinguish themselves, to graduate from Horizonte, to earn their way to college.  Their private individual plans were the antithesis of much that was verbalized in class.
We’re only three days into Horizonte Rising–the group we hope will recognize themselves as Horizonte scholars.

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