PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In math class, Joe Nystrom, with “manic energy and persistence” used an overhead projector to draw a contingency table relating the relative preferences of males and females for hip hop, country and indie rock music, to explain marginal distribution.

Nystrom teaches in a low income neighborhood in Worcester, Massachusetts, where any student can take Advanced Placement, AP courses for college placement – transforming a school where boys who idolized rapper Lil Wayne take the hardest courses.

Helped by the National Math and Science Initiative, teacher training, equipment, Saturday classes and tutoring were organized. Recruitment included announcements, posters, counselors and parents. Students who scored a 3 (out of 5) were paid $100 with teachers earning extra money as well.

Last fall two thirds of the students passed including 31 low-income minority kids, more than at any other high school in the state. Nystrom credits the collective effort of colleagues to persuade kids that hard work brings success.

Read more in The New York Times.

Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio