My local newspaper published this article a couple weeks ago. It's good to hear that schools are making gains in their API scores. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that most schools make some sort of gain - just not enough to satisfy NCLB.
The people I know who are current/former students of Middle College are super smart, super ambitious, and super decent people. They are the type of students who would succeed anyway, no matter what school they attended. I wonder what would happen if a below-average student, one who is on the path to non-graduation, was placed in Middle College?
Middle College is not the average high school, despite the article calling it a public school. Middle College does not have a campus of its own - the students actually attend junior college courses, with maybe a few special ones geared just for them. They do not have their own sports teams, academic or social clubs, or pretty much anything else associated with a typical high school experience. The students I know who attend Middle College are sometimes over-worked, stressed-out, and high-strung.
But then, maybe that's just them.
I'm very much a proponent of a smaller school though. Middle College has 300-something students. Total. My high school graduating class outnumbers the whole of Middle College by 100+. Smaller schools are awesome. Less red tape, more staff to take care of the students, increased atmosphere of a real community, individualized attention for students and staff alike. There may even be a lot less waste since it seems like a situation where it'll be simpler to keep everyone accountable.
Notable quotes from the article:
"None of our kids get lost in the shuffle."(which happens all too often)
"Some of our schools are showing improvement. Others have work to do."(which will probably be true forever and ever, world without end, amen)