Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Perseverance: We Never Give Up

I have one thing in mind right now: the school visit I attended.  One word: incredible.  It was an amazing visit.  Pretty sure my mouth was open a lot of the time from pure shock.  What is outstanding to me is that the students we teach, whether in rural Louisiana or an urban city like New Orleans are one and the same.  At the end of the day they are teenagers, some with different backgrounds than others, but overall eager to please and with a desire to feel successful.

Sci Academy is the name of the school.  It is a part of Collegiate Academies, a group of three charter schools that only serve students in 9-12 grades.  They run under the motto that proves it is never too late to learn.  I love this as a someone who believes in the closing of the achievement gap in our country with educational reform and better functioning schools led by better leaders.  

Collegiate Academies' CEO, Ben Marcovitz, a graduate of Harvard and Yale believes that students can achieve at any level.  The first cohort of students who went in as ninth graders had a percentage of 92% that were accepted to college at the time of graduation.  The school runs under a very positive environment, with core values that resonate through the walls of the school and through every classroom.  

"For decades, New Orleans failed its students. The year before Hurricane Katrina, 95 percent of the students fell below basic proficiency in English and math. The district was $300 million in debt, and corruption was so rife that the FBI set up a field office in its headquarters. The president of the Orleans Parish School Board has gone to prison on a bribery conviction, one of 24 school leaders to be indicted." (Source)

This school gives me hope for the future of education suffering in this nation.  I want there to be more schools like this.  I want my students to have the opportunity to achieve such as the students at schools like Sci Academy.  

This visit to this charter school has sparked something inside of me.  I want to spread schools like this to Avoyelles Parish and to other districts where students do not have the opportunity to succeed to their full capacity. 

Check out an amazing snippet of insight into what I saw on Monday


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