Jalen Rose announces new partnership for Leadership Academy

DETROIT - Jalen Rose, Founder and Board President of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, today announced the Board's decision to hire the American Promise Schools division of New Urban Learning to manage the Detroit public charter school for the next three years.

"Bringing in this all-star team of educators with a track record in Detroit and Chicago of graduating more than 90% of their students of color from high school and sending more than 90% on to college strengthens the promise I made to Detroit families to provide a public school that will prepare all of its students to succeed in college," Rose explained. "I've never been more confident that we will deliver on that promise."

The American Promise Schools, a non-profit division of New Urban Learning, was created this year to help good urban schools become great, and to turnaround traditional public high schools that have been low performing for years. Its founders are veterans of the urban education reform movement:

Doug Ross, the President of the American Promise Schools, is the founder of the University Prep schools in Detroit that have consistently graduated their open enrollment students and enrolled them in college at rates between 90-100%. Mr. Ross was the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, and served as the Chief Innovation Officer for the Detroit Public Schools.

Joe Tenbusch, who will serve as the Superintendent of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, is a Detroit native who founded and led the nationally acclaimed Rowe-Clark Academy of Science and Math. This high school is part of the Noble Street charter schools in Chicago that have prepared their African American and Hispanic students to earn an average of 21 on the ACT - a level of college readiness virtually no other open admissions urban public schools have attained.

Melissa Hamann, the CEO of the American Promise Schools, is a former Detroiter who worked on school reform in New York and Chicago before returning to Detroit where she served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Emergency Financial Managers Robert Bobb and Roy Roberts. Ms. Hamann will direct the operations for the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy.

"Jalen Rose has been an inspirational figure in this community with his commitment to found a public school that gives each of its students the education they need for college and a real shot at the American Dream," Joe Tenbusch explained. "I am very excited by the challenge of working with the school's Board to take a good school here in Detroit and make it great."

About the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy:

Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA) is an open enrollment, public charter high school on the Northwest side of Detroit. The Academy began its first academic year in September 2011 and currently serves close to 200 ninth and tenth grade students who commute from all across Detroit and the nearby suburbs; an additional freshman class will be added each subsequent year. Students will receive extensive college exposure and course opportunities through a partnership with the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM).

The mission of JRLA is to provide a leadership-focused experience within a high-performing high school that engages and inspires Detroit area youth to achieve at the rigorous level necessary to ultimately graduate with a college degree and thrive in life. Such a mission is driven by a critical and timely vision that education in Detroit must play a critical role in transforming the community into a more vibrant intellectual and economic landscape. JRLA will lead that transformation by providing a vigorous quality education that will empower and enable our future leaders to make a substantial contribution to the growth and revitalization of the great city of Detroit.

Applications for 9-11th grade are now being accepted for the 2013-2014 school year; students are encouraged to apply early as space is limited. To download an application or for more information, interested families can visit JRLADetroit.com or call (313) 397-3333.

The Detroit Challenge:

JRLA is currently looking for 15 key companies or individuals across the metro-Detroit area to partner with them in their efforts to raise $150,000 collectively ($10,000 per company) to financially support both the transformational educational opportunities for students at JRLA, and to provide the necessary facilities to house these unique programs. Happy's Pizza and Lady Jane's Haircuts for Men have already committed to a minimum $10,000 donation.

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