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“Once they got over the shock, students got hooked on the attention and the sense of purpose”

Joanne Jacobs,

Greg Lippman and Jennifer Andaluz together provided the brains, muscle and elbow grease to found Downtown College Prep, the subject of Joanne Jacobs’ “Our School: The Inspiring Story of Two Teachers, One Big Idea, and the School That Beat the Odds”. To get the ball rolling, they created a small summer institute that would establish and test the themes that would drive DCP. From page 25:

“To connect with potential students and parents and try out their ideas, Lippman and Andaluz organized Summer Bridge, a free skill-building program for underachieving middle schoolers. Lippman’s parents donated the money for the program; San Jose State provided classroom space. Middle school counselors in San Jose recommended students, mostly Hispanic, who were struggling in school.

Expecting the usual summer snooze, Bridge students found themselves sweating through reading and math skills in an academic boot camp with Lippman and Andaluz as their drill sergeants. But, once they got over the shock, students got hooked on the attention and the sense of purpose. Their parents wanted more. Bridge parents began meeting with Lippman and Andaluz to discuss a charter high school.”

They did that without a fat, taxpayer-driven bank account. Makes you wonder what a public school with a $27,000 per-pupil budget is capable of – and why were aren’t seeing it.

2 Responses to ““Once they got over the shock, students got hooked on the attention and the sense of purpose””

  1. Gretchen James says:

    How many public schools have a budget of $27,000 per pupil? Could you be attaching a nonexistent (but affluent, nonetheless) straw man?

  2. Gretchen,

    Those outrageously high per pupil expenditures are out there – from the low-performing city districts like Washington, DC’s [which is improving, thankfully] to the mediocre suburbans such as some just north of New York City. Your IP is from the DC area; you should already be familiar with numbers in the mid-$20ks:

    http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/2008/04/07/the-real-cost-of-public-schools/

    These examples are, obviously, on the high end. They don’t represent the average American school.

    “Could you be attaching a nonexistent (but affluent, nonetheless) straw man?”

    No. Do your homework.

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