Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Predictable Predictions

There's nothing the press loves so much as a dramatic story about a school rising from the ashes of failure and achieving great (or at least less substandard) things for their children. So it's no surprise that the L.A. Times profiles another school in that series. What I like to see, though, is the ways in which the schools are able to turn themselves around. Turns out that it doesn't always require a school being closed, the staff being fired, and a no-excuses charter opening in its place. Sometimes it just takes some extra time.

De Anza Elementary School in Los Angeles has made the turnaround by extending their day. Now, nearly half of their students spend time at school after school to receive extra help and academic enrichment. Families are brought into the school. It's not quite a community school, but it seems like a close cousin of the concept. And it works.

It's always nice when the things that seem like they ought to work actually do. I mean, you extend the time kids are supervised in an academic setting, you give them more one-on-one attention, you draw families into the process and good things happen. Seems pretty predictable, so it's good that the predictions are correct.

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