NBA Basketball great and former Los Angeles Laker, Magic Johnson announced today he will partner with Edison Learning, a New York education company, that seeks to curb school dropout rates in urban cities.
The basketball MVP said he is shooting to end the sky-rocketing student dropout rates in urban cities and will accomplish this challenging task by setting up dropout prevention and recovery centers.
The “Magic Johnson-Edison Learning Assist,” program will work with Edison Learning to keep at-risk disadvantaged youths interested in a high-school diploma.
“Improving the quality of life for people residing in urban areas is my life's passion,” Johnson explained as his reason to address the broken government (public) education system. “When just over 40 percent of students in Los Angeles, Houston, and Baltimore are graduating from high school, and less than 30 percent of black males in New York, Detroit and Miami, steps need to be taken to recapture these
students into the education system to better their opportunities in life.”
An Edison Learning spokesperson, Michael Serpe said they are the school turnaround experts and operate more than 390 schools in the U.S., England and the Middle East. The company sets out to encourage youths to stay in school and even return to school after they dropout by providing high-tech learning centers open before and after public schools traditionally close.
The NBA star, Johnson, is not paying for the centers, says Serpe. “The basketball hall-of-famer is, however, lending his name to the centers, which will be branded ‘Magic Johnson Bridgescape Learning Centers.’”
Serpe contends that the attachment of Magic’s name, as well as his presence, will garner more awareness for the centers and hopefully boost enrollment.
Serpe said Edison Learning is currently negotiating with Los Angeles Unified School District officials about operating centers in urban LA.
“The education professionals at Edison Learning have established a solid record for improving urban and under-performing schools,” Johnson said. “The work they have done on behalf of children in some of the most challenging schools and communities in the nation are the reason I chose to work with them in this effort.”
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