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President of New Designs Charter School Dr. Yaw Adutwum talks about educational success
By Amen Oyiboke, Staff Writer
Published March 23, 2016
 Dr. Yaw Adutwum addresses students during a school wide assembly. (courtesy of New Designs Charter School)

Dr. Yaw Adutwum addresses students during a school wide assembly. (courtesy of New Designs Charter School)

It is quite evident that primary and secondary education can steer the life of any individual in today’s society. Most parents now-of-days have plenty educational systems to chose from including charter schools, private schools and public schools as options.

“Our plan is to redesign education and focus on the children who often get labeled as not having the capability to excel academically,” said Dr. Yaw Adutwum.

He is the founder for New Designs Charter School in South Los Angeles. The educational group is operating two college-preparatory secondary schools with students from grades 6th-12th. The students select areas of concentration in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and theatrical arts.

“It is our purpose to prepare students for college. From the day students enroll, they chose their career form and focus in the areas that apply to their interest,” said Adutwum. “They have to practice critical thinking and it sharpens them immeasurably.”

Charter schools have become the modern rival of public schools since the start of the early 2000s. Many have been avid supporters of the system and some are skeptical about the difference between public and charter schools.

Charter schools are publicly funded institutions that operate under their own standards of conduct and curriculum outside of what local public school districts are doing. These schools have the ultimate freedom to establish their own methods of operation and are somewhat similar to how private schools are able to design their instructional and social preparation.

“I saw this as a solution for a problem in the community because I noticed that there was neglect from the district with the students in the area,” explained Adutwum. As a former teacher of LAUSD, he got to see the discrepancies in what children in lower income households experienced when it came to understanding the requirements for higher education.

 (courtesy of New Designs Charter School)

(courtesy of New Designs Charter School)

“Many times, we as adults, give excuses for the children before they even try. Kids are asking for help and we have to develop that culture of helping the underserved,” he said.  “Public schools give a ‘good enough’ education to children that causes chronic underachievement and creates a model that doesn’t fit current modern demands.”

For the past 12 years, New Designs has made sure to prepare high school age students with college preparatory classes that would give them full advancement in eligibility for college. “A hundred percent of our graduates meet the requirements for UC and CSU admissions,” said Adutwum.

According to Los Angeles County’s Department of Education, New Designs Schools API scores were one of the highest at 783 compared to Dorsey High at 611 and Manual Arts High at 627.

“One of my things in life is when I look for problems I always look for the solutions.  I want to make a difference in this world and when I look at a challenge I see it as a key to make a difference,” he said.

Adutwum believes that taking the “best kid off the block mentality,” out of his students and preparing them for mindsets that travel outside where they live will help them have aspirations to move forward academically.

“There is more to the world than just the communities some of my students live in. I want them to see their future selves and know that they have a great calling,” Adutwum said.

For more information on New Designs Charter School visit www.newdesignscharter.com

Categories: Education | Family
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