The graduation rate for African American and Latino students growing up in Sacramento lag at 58% and 63% respectively compared to 78% of their white peers.
Working in the capital of California, corps members, alumni, and community leaders in Sacramento are uniquely positioned to cultivate excellence that can lead to state-wide policy change.
Sacramento, as the capital of California, should be setting the bar for educational success for all students. Yet just 41% of children living in poverty in Sacramento scored proficient or higher on their math state standardized tests, compared to 74% of their more affluent peers. In science, the statistics are similarly disheartening—just 47% of low-income kids scored proficient or higher, compared to 77% of their wealthier neighbors.
It's our first year in Sacramento, and we are thrilled to partner with community members and leaders across the city to change the dynamic for students growing up here. With several members of our charter corps hailing from the Sacramento area, we believe we are well-positioned to help foster a culture of excellence that will shift educational outcomes for our students both in the city and across the state.
Teach For America has maintained a presence in California since 1990, and our corps in Los Angeles and the Bay Area have grown into two of our largest regions. But there is more we can do. California schools educate one out of every eight kids in the United States, and it’s critical for us to work closely with local partners to expand educational opportunities for students in Sacramento and beyond.
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Nik joined Teach For America in 2003 as a middle school special education teacher in Philadelphia. During his time there he created his school’s first special education inclusion program and collaborated with colleagues to help all special needs students grow by at least 1.5 grade levels in reading and math in just one school year. Nik then joined Teach For America staff as a manager of teacher leadership development in New York and later Los Angeles. He has also been a part of the Inner City Education Foundation as a U.S. history teacher and assistant principal at View Park Preparatory Accelerated Charter Middle School in Los Angeles. Nik assumed leadership of the school and in four years, he and his dedicated teachers and students collectively raised the school’s Academic Performance Index (API) from 746 to 822. Later he served as the founding director of the Sacramento READS! Literacy by Third Grade campaign.
Nik is a graduate of California State Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo and holds master’s degrees from the University of Oregon and St. Joseph’s University. He is married with two daughters who inspire his work to ensure all children have the opportunity to attend excellent public schools.