Hiawatha Academies: Reaching for success

  • Article by: STEVE BRANDT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 29, 2012 - 4:33 PM

Hiawatha Academies excels as the charter school movement observes its 20th anniversary.

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uptownbred63Sep. 29, 12 8:25 AM

Why are we fed such misinformation in this country? I've heard great things about Hiawatha Academy as well, but why is this school successful. Parents and teachers have formed a community of high expectations and parent involvement. To those that say teaching elementary school is rocket science I say their wrong. We're being sold this bill of goods by people that want you to believe that they have the magical formula for educating our kids. As a 1st and 2nd grade teacher, I can tell you that their isn't anything someone can come up with that hasn't been done before. I experience this change every ten years or so. Small class size, dedicated parents and high expectations are the keys to a successful school. And, getting rid of problem children is an advantage that not all schools have. I bet that Hiawatha has a system of removing problem children, or they don't admit them. They won't admit it if they do, but that's a huge advantage over other underperforming public schools. What does Hiawatha do with their underperfoming kids? Does Hiawatha have financial resources that other schools don't? Maybe they have no advantages over other public school, but I find that hard to believe. Our public schools spend so much money on administrators, curriculum and technology and these things have little to do with student success. Our leaders continue to tell us that they do, but they have a vested interest in misinforming us. Again, they know of a magical formula that doesn't exist. Teachers that have a smaller class and know their kids and nurture them is the map to success. Burning them out with blame and large classes isn't the way to go. I say Hiawatha deserves a ton of credit, but what are the factors in their success?

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