Vision Statement

Why a Culture of Hope?
Every child should have the opportunity for a good life.  That chance at a good life primarily comes from the family.  But for those children who are growing up in poverty, the chance at a good life is determined primarily by education.

The Culture of Hope is dedicated to helping every school, every teacher, every administrator and school board member to ensure that their classrooms are places where Hope lives.  Hope for the future, hope for every child's dreams.

Academics are the heart of our public school system.  Absolutely, learning to read well, learning to write skillfully, and learning to think mathematically are critical for our students.  Learning about the past, learning to problem-solve with science and technology, these are also necessary for success.   

Our research starts where high quality academics fails to meet the needs of learners coming from poverty.    Our research, the "second wave" of research on high-performing, high-poverty schools, looks at the differences between successful and unsuccessful schools, when "what works" academically is being done.       

The answer is school culture. The answer is the social and emotional needs that all learners have.   The needs for Hope, Belonging, Pride, and Purpose.  All of our youth have these needs. These needs, often met by families, must be in place in schools serving high-poverty populations.  Why?  Because schools are institutions with middle-class cultural values, and learners coming from high-poverty communities often feel a cultural clash with public institutions.  It is up to schools to help students and their families believe that they belong, and that they are a part of the American Dream.

Dr. Robert Barr and Dr. Emily Gibson, speaking at the Nevada Superintendent’s Academy
11th Annual Superintendent/Cabinet Work Conference Sparks, NV.