State chief praises middle school
One day after calling for a stronger focus on closing the achievement gap among students, state schools chief Jack O'Connell visited Hawthorne to shine the light on a campus he said is doing things right.
"This is a school that's really moving in the right direction," O'Connell said of Bud Carson Middle School, where test scores have continually increased as the achievement gap has narrowed.
"Your student population really reflects the future of California."
Principal Patricia Jordan attributed the 950-student school's success, in part, to what she called her "pride and joy" -- an academic and behavioral intervention program that offers extra help to any student that needs it. She also pointed to their math support classes, taught by every teacher there, in which every student gets extra, daily practice in math.
Bud Carson's API score -- the state's assessment of a school's overall progress -- has climbed more than 200 points in recent years, moving from 464 in 1999 to 689 in 2006.
Its black, Latino and socioeconomically disadvantaged academic subgroups have exceeded their growth targets by more than 150 points, its English-learners group by nearly 60.
"Our work is not yet done, but we're off to a good start," Jordan said. "We want all of our students above the bar."
Daily Breeze, February 8, 2007