On Saturday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Cynthia Bowers filed a report documenting the success of a charter school in Chicago which has managed to substantially increase the graduation rate and college attendance rate of its African-American male student population as compared to other schools in the city. Anchor Russ Mitchell teased the report: "In a city where most African-American males don't make it through high school, every member of this graduating class is going on to college."
He later introduced the report: "When it comes to African-American high school graduation rates, Chicago's Urban Prep is a shining standout, boasting a rate of almost 70 percent. And that's only the beginning of its success story as we hear from Cynthia Bowers."
Below is a complete transcript of the report from the Saturday, June 11, CBS Evening News:
RUSS MITCHELL, BEFORE COMMERCIAL BREAK: In a city where most African-American males don't make it through high school, every member of this graduating class is going on to college. That story is next.
MITCHELL: When it comes to African-American high school graduation rates, Chicago's Urban Prep is a shining standout, boasting a rate of almost 70 percent. And that's only the beginning of its success story as we hear from Cynthia Bowers.
CYNTHIA BOWERS: In Chicago's tough Englewood neighborhood, in this high school, these students are starting to believe. This is Urban Prep, the only all African-American male charter school in the city. But what makes this high school stand out is the fact that each of its 104 seniors is headed to college. Cedric Abdul Hakeem is going to Grinnell College in Iowa. And when you got your acceptance letters, how was that?
CEDRIC ABDUL HAKEEM, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: It was very exciting.
BOWERS: Urban Prep's 100 percent college acceptance rate began last year with the school's first senior class. School founder Tim King says Urban Prep demands high achievement from each student and has created an environment where failure is not an option.
TIM KING, URBAN PREP ACADEMY: It can't be less than 100 percent because we really do have to aggressively and actively change the lives of the young men we're serving.
BOWERS: Each year, 150 freshmen are selected through a blind lottery. Students here spend an additional three and a half hours a day in the classroom.
HAKEEM: They say we can send anyone into college.
BOWERS: And they did it with you, so there you go.
HAKEEM: Of course.
BOWERS: Neighborhoods like Englewood are in desperate need of more success stories like Urban Prep. In Chicago, only four of ten black males graduate high school. Nationally, the number is fewer than 50 percent. That's nearly 2 million young black men without a diploma and very limited opportunities.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are there any questions?
KING: What we're doing here, it's changing their entire futures and generations to come.
MATTHEW WILLIAMS, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: I just look around sometimes like we're all going to college.
BOWERS: For senior Matthew Williams, it's a change he hopes will alter how society looks at young black men.
WILLIAMS: Those stereotypes you hear on the streets about drugs, just negative things, those aren't going be a reality.
BOWERS: And for these graduating seniors, a much brighter future. Cynthia Bowers, CBS News, Chicago.