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SET YOUR VCR’s! New PBS Documentary Airs Soon

WA CHARTERS, Friday Evening, August 13, 2004

Dear Friends,

A new PBS documentary will air later this month. It praises a Connecticut charter school that is helping to lead the way toward closing the "achievement gap" between advantaged and disadvantaged students.

More information about the show, titled CLOSING THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP is below.

The show will air on different dates and times depending on which PBS station is your local station.

Here is the current schedule:

SPOKANE (KSPS-TV): Wednesday evening, August 25, 2004 at 10:00 PM

YAKIMA (KTNW-TV): Wednesday evening, August 25, 2004 at 10:00 PM

SEATTLE (KCTS-TV): Sunday afternoon, August 29, 2004 at 1:00 PM

PORTLAND (KOPB-TV): Tuesday evening, August 31, 2004 at 11:00 PM

It looks like a great show, so be sure to set your VCR's so that you can share it later with your friends and family.

THANK YOU for everything you're doing to educate everyone you know about the importance of bringing the CHOICE of charter public schools to the children, families and educators of WA.

Jim Spady, President & Executive Director

August 25, 2004

Closing the Achievement Gap, the newest PBS documentary airs

The sixty-minute special premieres nationally on Wednesday, August 25th, 2004 at 10:00 P.M. ET (please check your local PBS station listings for exact day and time).

Closing the Achievement Gap is the story of Amistad Academy, a charter school founded in 1999 by a group of Yale Law School students who enlisted the help of local business and community leaders.

Amistad serves about 250 students in grades five through eight; 97% of whom are African-American and Latino. 84% of the children qualify for the federal free lunch program. These students represent a population traditionally underserved by the district public school system; they enter Amistad in the fifth grade, on average more than two years below grade level. But by the time they leave the school in the eighth grade, most of these urban kids are doing as well or better than their white suburban counterparts.

Interviews with parents, teachers, students, and administrators provide personal perspectives on the school and discuss the keys to Amistad's success. The program also features interviews with several education experts including Christopher Jencks, Professor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and co-editor of the book, "The Black-White Test Score Gap"; Connecticut's former Education Commissioner Theodore Sergi; Patricia Lucan, president of the New Haven Federation of Teachers; and Natalie Missakian, education reporter for the "New Haven Register."

For more information about Amistad Academy, visit

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