Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Who Says Urban Students Can't Succeed?

Check this out

In Detroit there is a success story in the charter public schools.
It is called University Prep Academy.
Their stats are astounding when compared to their Detroit public school peers. On top of that they do it for less than $9,500 per student! In Hartford, the results are appalling and they spend well over $13,000 per student.

With the poor showing we had on Mastery Tests, clearly CT needs to get a clue about these Charter School models, and already we have Charter schools like Amistad and Jumoke Academy who are also doing very well.

Their Mission:
To prove that urban children can succeed in college through personalized learning and relentless commitment to their success.

Their strategy:
Learning is very personalized and for example, students do not pass from class to class every 50 minutes. You will often see them working with a group of other students on a group project, or working in front of the computer doing research on their individual project, or leaving on a school bus to visit the Detroit public Library or a museum to do research out in the field. They learn through doing projects. They work on developing and mastering skills and many times grades are not relevant.

Work is Engaging:
The curriculum is customized through projects which capture students’ interests and pique their curiosities.

Work is Fun: When learning is fun, learners invest much more energy and imagination in getting through the hard parts.

Work is Rigorous: While learning is interest-based and individualized, all learning must result in the mastery of basic skills such as reading, writing, mathematics, scientific reasoning, social reasoning and critical thinking.
Some people just understand better by doing things first-hand than by sitting and listening. - Andre Brooks, Class of 2007
Gee... sounds a lot like homeschooling to me!