Via Kitchen Table Math I found this piece about the Washington Math Science Technology Public Charter High School in Washington, D.C. An excerpt:
Mr. Boykie (director of development and fundraising) calls the school the "best kept secret in DC" because it has never received much publicity, despite its tremendous academic successes with a student population that is 100 percent low-income: a rigorous curriculum, including AP courses; an extraordinarily high graduation rate, with nearly all graduates receiving scholarships to attend college; and the rare achievement of adequate yearly progress. In addition to their success on standardized tests, WMST students have racked up top honors at math, science, and JROTC competitions. Giant trophies, as well as college acceptance letters, pack the display cases in the front lobby.(My emphasis.) The piece ends with "Here’s hoping that it won’t remain a secret much longer."
The general public may not know much about WMST, but parents certainly do. Its reputation among parents is so strong that most of the 400 students commute from far-away neighborhoods, some traveling for as much as two hours each way. Parents are willing to overlook the school’s lack of a gym, a library, and sports teams because they know that their kids will graduate knowing how to read, write, do math, and understand technology.
What I fear is that as soon as it gets some good publicity, the Teacher's Unions and the Department of Education will move swiftly to destroy it.
As the Japanese say, the nail that sticks up gets hammered down.