As someone who has worked in the education field and has sadly watch our once proud public education system become captive to left-wing indoctrinators, union hacks, with the aid of bureaucratic bumblers, it is refreshing to see a method of educating that gets results.
And with results in mind, lets compare the acheivements of American Indian to the "politically connected"
Charter School, "Academia Semillas del Pueblo" in El Sereno.
Lets compare the Mission Statements of the respective Charter Schools.
The American Indian Public Charter School serves 200 inner-city students in fifth through eighth grade. The focus of AIPCS is excellent student attendance (99.5%), which helps to ensure the academic needs of American Indian students and others interested in attending our school. We will provide them with an education to enhance their academic skills in reading, writing, spelling, mathematics, science, social science, business, and humanities in order to compete and be productive members in a free market capitalistic society. This will be a collaborative effort between school, family, and community.
Anahuacalmecac’s mission is to provide students effective and comprehensive pedagogy through a globally inclusive curriculum within a positive, supportive learning environment involving students, teachers, parents and staff. Anahuacalmecac is a Nahuatl name meaning University Preparatory High School of North America. Anahuacalmecac’s k-8th grade compliment, Academia Semillas del Pueblo, Xinaxcalmecac, is dedicated to providing urban children of immigrant families an excellent education founded upon native and maternal languages, cultural values, and global realities. Academia’s name in Nahuatl means, “the house of higher learning for the seeds of our people.”
From the LA Times.
The Academic Performance Index, the central measuring tool for California schools, rates schools on a scale from zero to 1,000, based on standardized test scores. The state target is an API of 800. The statewide average for middle and high schools is below 750. For schools with mostly low-income students, it is around 650.
The oldest of the American Indian schools, the middle school known simply as American Indian Public Charter School, has an API of 967. Its two siblings -- American Indian Public Charter School II (also a middle school) and American Indian Public High School -- are not far behind.
Among the thousands of public schools in California, only four middle schools and three high schools score higher. None of them serves mostly underprivileged children. At American Indian, the largest ethnic group is Asian, followed by Latinos and African Americans.
Some of the schools' critics contend that high-scoring Asian Americans are driving the test scores, but blacks and Latinos do roughly as well -- in fact, better on some tests.
That makes American Indian a rarity in American education, defying the axiom that poor black and Latino children will lag behind others in school.
Semillas API rose to 701 points!
We are pleased to announce that the 2008 Base Academic Performance Index score for Academia Semillas del Pueblo Xinaxcalmecac was increased by the California Department of Education to 701! Congratulations and thank you for all of your hard work. According to Wes Scott, Semillas independent data consultant from Key Data Systems, "Statewide and Similar schools ranks is now 2, and the incremental growth targets for the school, this cycle, are smaller. For instance, the Schoolwide growth requirement is 5 points this year versus 9 points last year. This is all good news. It is interesting that the Base API is higher than the 2008 Growth API. This likely suggests that those few students who took the CMA last year did well on the assessment." Congratulations to everyone for all the focus and diligence over the years.
"What we're doing is so easy," said Ben Chavis, the man who created the school's success and personifies its ethos, especially in its more outrageous manifestations. (One example: He tends to call all nonwhite students, including African Americans, "darkies.") Although he retired in 2007, Chavis remains a presence at the school.
A Lumbee Indian who grew up poor in North Carolina and later struck it rich in real estate, Chavis took over American Indian in 2000, four years after it was founded with a Native American theme.
He began by firing most of the school's staff and shucking the Native American cultural content ("basket weaving," he scoffed). "You think the Jews and the Chinese are dumb enough to ask the public school to teach them their culture?" he asks -- a typical Chavis question, delivered with eyes wide and voice pitched high in comic outrage. There is no basket weaving at American Indian now -- and little else that won't directly affect standardized test scores. "I don't see it as teaching to the test," said Carey Blakely, a former teacher at the school who is writing a book about it. "I see it as, there are certain skills and knowledge that you're supposed to impart to your students, and the test measures whether your students have acquired those skills and that knowledge."
Aguilar simply doesn't want to integrate with white institutions."We don't want to drink from a white water fountain, we have our own wells and our natural reservoirs and our way of collecting rain in our aqueducts," he said.
The issue of civil rights, Aguilar continued, "is all within the box of white culture and white supremacy. We should not still be fighting for what they have. We are not interested in what they have because we have so much more and because the world is so much larger.
"Ultimately, he said, the "white way, the American way, the neo liberal, capitalist way of life will eventually lead to our own destruction. And so it isn't about an argument of joining neo liberalism, it's about us being able, as human beings, to surpass the barrier.
"Aguilar said his school is not a response to problems in the public school system, as it's available only to about 150 families.
"We consider this a resistance, a starting point, like a fire in a continuous struggle for our cultural life, for our community and we hope it can influence future struggle," he said. "We hope that it can organize present struggle and that as we organize ourselves and our educational and cultural autonomy, we have the time to establish a foundation with which to continue working and impact the larger system."
AIPCS is always in search of teachers and staff who are smart, ambitious, and motivated to teach inner-city youth.
We are looking for hard working people who believe in free market capitalism to join our family at AIPCS.
AIPCS believes in setting a high standard for ALL students regardless of race, ethnicity, language, economic standing, etc.
Multi-cultural specialists, ultra liberal zealots, and college-tainted oppression liberators need not apply.
We are currently seeking highly qualified teachers to teach at Semillas for the 2009-2010 school year. Multiple subject credentialed teacher applicants must be credentialed by the State of California and be fully bilingual in Spanish and English. Single subject teacher applicants must also be fully credentialed in their subject matter - master’s and doctorate degrees are preferred.
Wonder how the likes of UTLA's A.J. Duffy, LAUSD School Board President Monica Garcia, Green Dots's Steve Barr, Ben Austin and that great education reformer Mayor Villaraigosa, would respond if American Indian were to open a campus in CD-14 ??
But more important, what would the demand be in CD-14 for a education model that works compares to one that practices symbolic rituals, chants and celebrates revisionist history ??
Labels: Academia Semillas del Pueblo, American Indian Charter School