Vallay Varro was a founding state executive director. She now serves as the president of 50CAN.

Today, Anthony Smith and Michael Turner from Cincinnati’s Taft High School will speak at the city’s Capri Theater for a presentation on how to turn around our nations schools.

Along with being named a "Blue Ribbon School" by the US Dept of Education, Taft’s principal Anthony Smith was also featured as ABC Nightly News’ “person of the week” in March for his efforts in revolutionizing the operation of his school.

It’s a revolution that has raised the struggling school’s graduation rate more than 50 points in the last decade. Using the motto “Failure is not an option,” Smith and his team at Taft have also effectively closed the achievement gap at the 95 percent African American serving school, with students outperforming Ohio’s white students on the state's graduation tests in math, reading and science.

Through some inventive changes, including an unlikely partnership that provides students with cell phones, laptops and tutoring, Smith was able to transform Taft from a school that students were afraid to visit to one that attracts them.

Learn more about the work being done at Taft High School tonight, June 29, 5:30 – 7:30 at the Capri Theater: 2027 West Broadway, Minneapolis. The event is free to the public.



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