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March 24 , 2011

Create Success!

Unlocking the Potential of Urban Students


For far too long, disadvantaged students in urban environments have believed the fallacy that academic success is unattainable. Why? The unfortunate answer is that too many urban school systems preemptively declare underperforming students to be failures, a practice that fosters dysfunctional classrooms that fail to motivate, engage, and inspire students to succeed.

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O vsemirnoj ljubvi

A essay by Konstantin Nikolayevich Leontyev (1831—1891), originally published in 1880.

In Create Success!, Kadhir Rajagopal, affectionately known as Dr. Raja to his students, outlines his no-holds-barred approach to teaching urban students. Through his CREATE model of instruction, students are held accountable for their own learning, taught at an appropriate level and in familiar language, and imbued with the sense that learning and personal achievement are qualities of which they should be proud – not ashamed. Dr. Raja's CREATE model also places an emphasis on the active participation of teachers, parents, caregivers, and coaches in each student's success.

Resulting in unprecedented success among students previously dismissed as lost causes and academic failures, the CREATE model has demonstrated that it is indeed possible to close the achievement gap, even in the most difficult cases. Rajagopal has also shown that his model can be replicated in any classroom by a teacher who is willing to assume responsibility for each student's success, hold students accountable, embrace culturally responsive instruction, and vigorously work on behalf of all students.

Filled with personal insights and battle-tested strategies that promote student achievement, Create Success! is a pioneering approach to urban education from a 2011 California Teacher of the Year.

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