February 4, 2012

SABIS' International Academy of Flint shows charter schools can beat the odds

GENESEE COUNTY, Michigan — Genesee County has its share of low-performing charters. Then there is the other end of the spectrum.

The International Academy of Flint is the best performing charter school in the county and the only one doing better than the average traditional public school on the state education department's top-to-bottom list. [It is also a school that is Beating the Odds, according to the Michigan Department of Education.)

International Academy officials point to a rigid curriculum, weekly testing and placing students based on skill level as reasons they are pulling ahead.

"We place a child (in a grade) in which they test. ... If they think they're coming into seventh grade with us, that may or may not be the case," said school spokesman Art Wenzlaff.

Also, all International Academy students need to show a college letter of acceptance to graduate from high school. The college-bound culture starts as early as kindergarten.

Flint School District Superintendent Linda Thompson questioned the point of allowing more charters if they aren't consistently  and greatly outperforming districts like hers.  (Read full story here)


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