High-Performing American Indian Charter Schools Struggle for Survival

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sometimes success is not enough. Students at the American Indian Model Schools have consistently outperformed most of their peers nationwide. But on Sunday night parents and board members were groping for a way to keep the schools' doors open.

The Oakland school board voted on March 20 to revoke the schools' charter at the end of the year because of financial improprieties. At an emergency meeting Sunday night, parents, teachers and administrators tried to figure out how they could effectively appeal the decision.

Everyone acknowledges that the three schools (one elementary and middle, one middle and one high school) have gotten impressive results. For example, in the 2011-2012 school year, 100 percent of the high school's 11th-graders scored "proficient/advanced" on one of the math sections of the California Standards Test. By comparison, only 39 percent of Oakland Unified School District students reached that level.

So many students at AIMS take advanced placement and International Baccalaureate tests that the Washington Post has rated the high school the most challenging school in the country for 2013.

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