A LYS Assistant Superintendent shares the following:
I want to brag on a campus “in need of improvement” in our district. In a true effort to help save our children we created a dropout prevention academy. Students who have already left high school (were a couple of years behind; had to work due to family circumstances; and/or had a child), who are already considered a dropout, or admitted they were about to dropout of school are the student body of this campus. We have about 20 students who attend.
We set the hours for the first part of the day and it is self-paced with close guidance and tutoring. We have graduated 25 students in the three semesters since we opened the doors. These students passed all of their state tests (some after multiple attempts) and have a real high school diploma. We have 18-20 that will graduate this school year. Each one of these students would not have finished high school.
Now, Texas, has labeled this campus “in need of improvement.” Our school board and our administration say that this campus should be emulated and that the state is in need of improvement. We are extremely proud of the commitment from everyone involved with this campus. Square pegs do not necessarily fit into round holes!
SC Response First, congratulations. Your story reminds me of principal I knew that believed her superintendent when he said, “Go get your drop-outs and drag them back to school.”
The other principals in her district did nothing, she on the other hand went and found her kids and dragged them back to school. Her reward? Her campus rating fell as almost all of those recovered dropouts failed the TAKS on their first attempt. Her staff was at first crushed, but as she pointed out, the lost rating was really a badge of honor. It represented the adversity that those kids had to overcome just to come back to school. It really was a “Finest Hour” moment.
Second, as is the case with your recovery campus, multiple pathways for both graduation and accountability make sense. But right now accountability is not about common sense; it is about politics and agenda.
The short-term solution: Serve your students.
The long-term solution: Serve your students and vote.
Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…
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