Dr. Bradley to Keynote Junior Achievement of Georgia’s 30th Annual Business Hall of Fame Gala

Members of Banneker's first JA/ 3DE graduating class

Members of the inaugural JA/3DE graduating class. (John Paul Van Wert/Rank Studios)

The JA Atlanta Business Hall of Fame honors remarkable individuals who have strengthened Atlanta and aided in its growth to become the world renowned city that it is today. At the 30th annual event, Junior Achievement will celebrate the distinguished careers and philanthropic achievements of Rosalind Brewer, Chief Operating Officer and Group President of Starbucks Corporation, and John F. Brock, Chief Executive Officer, Coca-Cola European Partners (Retired), as they join a prestigious list of laureates who have spanned the history of Atlanta.

To be highlighted during the ceremony will be Banneker’ High School’s inaugural cohort of Junior Achievement/3DE students, a group that is widely credited for being one of the largest, highest performing, and most successful graduating classes in Banneker High School History. Dr. Bradley is expected to make a special announcement about the school’s future plans during his address

The 30th Annual JA Atlanta Business Hall of Fame, Saturday, February 23, 2019 at the InterContinental Buckhead.


About Junior Achievement, 3DE and Banneker High School: A joint venture between Fulton County Schools, JA of Georgia and the broader Atlanta community led to the pilot of a new school model. Launched in 2015 at Banneker High School, the model quickly demonstrated the ability to drive student engagement and academic performance. Within four years the model expanded to six schools in four districts, each serving a range of academic levels and backgrounds. Every school demonstrated a similar path to transformation: it began with shifts in culture and engagement, which year-over-year resulted in measurable gains in students’ knowledge, skills and aspirations. All of this building towards students graduating with a vision for their future, confidence in their abilities, and a path to achievement. Credit: https://www.3deschools.org/about

Bradley Pays Homage To Banneker High School in Legacy of Excellence Speech

Dr. Duke Bradley, Banneker High School’s veteran school leader was recently honored by Fulton County Schools as their district-wide Principal of the Year. During Fulton’s annual Legacy of Excellence Awards Luncheon, exemplary staff members were recognized for their professional accomplishments and contributions to the district.

Notwithstanding the student performances which are always among the most impressive highlights of the luncheon, both the Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year are given the opportunity to deliver keynote addresses.

Dr. Bradley’s speech specifically mentioned the wonderful work underway at Banneker thanks to the hard working staff members on his team, parents, and students. He said,

“Banneker is authoring a new chapter in the book of transformation – reminding all that our work is dynamic, ever changing and forever challenging. And through our work, which we now view through the prism of obligation and expectancy, we will continue to imagine the higher possibilities – and we will continue to sacrifice what we are, for what we can become.”

View Dr. Bradley’s speech in its entirety here:

New State Analysis Shows Banneker High School Has “Beaten the Odds”

Banneker Students with Principal Dr. Duke Bradley

Recently, the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement released the list of schools across the state of Georgia who have “Beaten the Odds” – and for the first time, Banneker High School has made that list. Beating the Odds is a calculation that signifies whether a school’s overall academic performance was higher than other schools across the state with similar demographics. The measure used for this determination is the state’s College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI). Schools that perform higher than similar schools are considered “Beating the Odds.” Continue reading

Solutions Teams: Increasing Staff Engagement As a Mechanism for Heightened Productivity

Over the past 4 years, Banneker High School has been engaged in a comprehensive school turnaround process.  During that span of time, we have deployed a strategy intent on producing a very specific result: improved student performance.  Having been designated as one of the state’s lowest performing schools in 2015, we knew that our work needed to center on getting stronger in Georgia’s 8 mandatory high school tested subject areas.

Our strategy for immediate improvement was simple.  We implemented a framework that activated systems of support, training and accountability to improve instructional delivery.  There was other work, too – especially around school climate and culture. However, we believed that improving academic performance was most important.  To date, our strategy – though imperfect – has produced incredible results. Banneker is no longer on our state’s failing schools list and graduation rates have skyrocketed to the high 70’s, (a far cry from the years when our graduation rate was stuck in the low 40’s).  Additionally, we’ve seen significant increases in the number of ‘developing’, ‘proficient’, and ‘distinguished’ learners across all content areas – and our path for long-term success is now clear.

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We Must Educate The Whole Child: Banneker High School Launches New Student and Family Engagement Center

“Schools should provide comprehensive wraparound services, and make them accessible to all students.”

This is the position of many education thought leaders who understand that the associated issues of poverty can severely limit a student’s potential.

Yes, it is true — schools must work to provide wraparound services for all students, especially the ones who come from social conditions exacerbated by poverty.  We’ve known this for a while — at least since 2015 when a Southern Education Foundation study found that the majority of our nation’s public school students come from households in financial distress.  It was clear through their research that if schools are to appropriately meet the needs of students, then efforts must be made to support them beyond the classroom.  
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Release of Performance Ratings Move Banneker HS Off Failing Schools List

Banneker High School studentsFor several months, schools across the state of Georgia have been anxiously awaiting the release of CCRPI ratings – the state’s tool for measuring school performance.  That day has finally come.  For perpetually low performing schools, the release of this data can have implications often unseen to the casual observer.  The results can mean the difference between state intervention, thus triggering a series of mandatory interventions – or to the contrary, they can release a school from the scurrilous stigmatization often associated with low academic performance.

This is a pressure for improvement that Banneker High School has responded well to, and as a practical matter, has inspired our school community to pursue higher rates of achievement.  For a school that once endured a 3-year stretch of graduation rates nearly 30% points below the state average, the call for a targeted reform strategy was courageously trumpeted by former Fulton County Schools Superintendent, Dr. Robert Avossa.  That initiative resulted in the the advent of the Achievement Zone, a descriptor applied to the 7 elementary and 2 middle schools that feed into Banneker.  Recognizing that the anatomy of failure – especially for high schools, is not always the result of the inadequacy of their own work, a blend of common expectations was introduced to all Achievement Zone schools with hopes of producing improved student outcomes.

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Banneker High School Awarded $20,000 Innovative Learning Grant; Will Focus on Design Thinking and Entrepreneurship

Banneker High School was recently awarded Verizon Wireless’ competitive Innovation Learning Grant.  As an award recipient, Banneker will partner with the Entrepreneurship Division of Arizona State University spanning a two-year period of engagement.  Banneker will also join a network of over 50 participating schools from New York City, Phoenix, Chicago, Baton Rouge, Boston, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C. – all of whom are focused on engaging students and teachers in design thinking, emerging technology, and strategic innovation practices. Continue reading

Banneker’s Graduation Rate Reaches Historic Milestone; More Work Remains

Banneker High School graduation rate reaches a milestone

Earlier today, graduation rates for the 2016-2017 school-year were released for all Georgia high schools.  With this announcement, we are reminded once more that our progress as a school is indiscriminately subject to public review and evaluation.  Without hesitation, we embrace this aspect of our work and will therefore continue to be transparent about our performance relative to critically important measures like graduation rates.

You may recall that last year, Banneker produced the highest graduation rate growth among all 16 traditional Fulton County High Schools.  In that same year, we successfully transitioned our largest graduating class in recent history, totaling over 230 students.  These results, considered together, represent a significant upwards shift in Banneker’s overall school performance.  Today, I am pleased to announce that our forward progress continues – and Banneker’s graduation rate now stands at 71.1%.

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Revelations from Alaska: An Educator’s Moment of Clarity

Dr. Duke Bradley in AlaskaFor as long as I can remember, I have wanted to visit the Pacific Northwest – to explore a part of the country once described as, “…a place for those who want nothing more than a few relaxing moments in beautiful, unpeopled surroundings.”  Until now, my domestic travels have spanned nearly every other region of the country, but the great Pacific Northwest has somehow always remained elusive.  So, when the opportunity presented itself to fulfill a lifelong dream of traveling there, I did not hesitate.

During my time away I explored central Washington and the Alaskan port cities of Juneau, Sitka, and Ketchikan with a bonus stay-over in Victoria, British Columbia. They were all fascinating places.  I drank from fresh water creeks and panned for gold like the pioneers of the American gold rush.  I harvested quartz from Alaskan mountainsides and ate wild berries.  I acquiesced to the pleas of dockside salesmen who peddled wildlife tours, promising a glimpse of sea otters and bald eagles basking in their natural habitat.  I stared silently at thousand year-old glaciers and boated on brackish waters collected by the fjords that those glaciers generously left behind. Needless to say, I had the time of my life.

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