The International Academy of Saginaw, a SABIS school, was one of six charter schools with more than 40% economically disadvantaged students to achieve 100% at or above proficiency on the state’s 4th grade math Michigan Educational Assessment Program test.
By Nancy Derringer/Bridge Magazine
At the International Academy of Saginaw, math is taught through a proprietary curriculum of the school’s management company, SABIS. Called “Teach-Practice-Check,” it’s “really just good teaching,” said Justin Doughty, director. Material is taught, practiced as a group, practiced individually and checked for mastery.
Advanced students are christened “prefects” and enlisted to help slower peers. Doughty said it’s a way to keep faster learners from being bored, and makes sure everybody stays abreast of the lesson.
Whatever it’s called, the technique seems to be working — International Academy of Saginaw was one of six charter schools in its socioeconomic category to reach 100 percent at or above proficiency on the state’s Michigan Educational Assessment Program test of 4th grade math skills. The six were schools where more than 40 percent of students qualify for free lunches, a generally accepted threshold of economic disadvantage. The rest are Benton Harbor Charter School in Benton Harbor; Weston Preparatory Academy in Detroit; Pansophia Academy, Coldwater; West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science in Grand Rapids; and AGBU Alex-Marie Manoogian School in Southfield. (Read more in Bridge Michigan)