They studied into the wee hours and agonized line by line over their personal essays. They took standardized tests three, four, five times to increase their scores. And last fall, after years of preparation and anxiety, the students at Ewing Marion Kauffman School, a predominantly black school in Kansas City, submitted their college applications, hoping all their hard work would pay off.
The students at Kauffman saw their charter school as something of an equalizer. The shiny, sprawling campus opened in 2011 on the city’s mostly black and economically disadvantaged East Side. Nine out of 10 students receive free or reduced lunch.