After years of struggle to meet standards set by state guidelines, Franklin Elementary exceeded expectations by developing a new strategy: move all of the “problem” children to other schools.
For years, Franklin Elementary was considered “that” school — a school filled with children from the inner city, who, due to socioeconomic issues out of their control, found it hard to meet standards set by the state of California. Morale was low. Budgets were short. The demographics of the school were representative of the neighborhood around the school.
Under pressure from the district, Franklin began a radical series of changes. First, they filed to become a Montessori academy — children were given more autonomy in the classroom, and teachers used new techniques to teach math and science. Second, they became a magnet school, inviting children from across the county to participate in an accelerated curriculum. Third, they exported the children who scored lowest to other schools in the surrounding area.
“The results have been amazing,” said Melinda Espinozo, a third grade teacher at Franklin. “Test scores have gone way up, we’ve had far fewer disciplinary problems, and the demographic makeup of our student body now consists of considerably fewer students from low-income families.”