Moving To San Antonio? Review how the public schools are working for the children.
San Antonio Schools held two college fairs as part of its GEAR UP program to help the class of 2012 get ready for college. Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federally funded grant given to states to increase the number of low income students enrolling in college. GEAR UP involves local businesses and community groups, including those with religious affiliations, and can partner with local schools to provide college information for students. Each school or organization, however, is expected to match federal funding dollar for dollar, meaning that the non-federal contribution must be at least 50 percent.
Charter Schools in San Antonio Schools
Another area where San Antonio schools are showing progress is with charter schools. Parents with children attending San Antonio Schools are becoming very familiar with charter schools. The city of San Antonio is so large that it contains 16 separate public school districts. Among these the San Antonio Independent Schools District (SAISD) is investing heavily in charter schools. 12 of this San Antonio Schools’ district buildings currently house internal charter schools. Funding for San Antonio Schools to initiate charter programs is what enables the administrators to provide specialized art, music or science instruction. One of the most conspicuous aspects of the San Antonio Schools’ charters is their successes to date. Around the country, many charter schools have been forced to close their doors due to the inability to provide proper curriculum, adequate financial records, or proof of academic success. One of the reasons behind the success of these San Antonio Schools’ charter programs is that they address the lower income demographic that makes up a significant amount of the San Antonio population. For educators of San Antonio Schools, having the ability to provide a focus on the arts or on science amid the high stakes testing environment is refreshing. Teachers in the San Antonio Schools’ charter programs see the students’ academic successes as proof that education requires exposure to many elements, not just a targeted focused on the ones to appear on a state test. While The San Antonio Schools and many districts nationwide are struggling to meet No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandates and stricter state standards, charter schools are showing significant progress in meeting these national goals.
One of the challenges is how the San Antonio Schools can meet higher standards and the need for more teachers on a public school district’s always limited budget. Frankly, it’s easy to point out the problems with a national program like NCLB. But even for someone like myself who thinks that standardized tests should be only one of many assessments used to gauge a student’s progress, I have to admit that the pressure forces schools to improve in some areas. Just the sudden appearance of school rankings for k-12 general interest on websites and in local and national newspapers puts pressure on the San Antonio Schools to perform at their peak level. But the truth is that the schools can’t do it alone.
The other essential component of using local businesses and residents to boost students’ achievement is that it bonds the community with a common goal. Senior citizens on a fixed income are less likely to grumble about their taxes if they know the San Antonio Schools’ students that money is helping. And the retired community around the San Antonio Schools has a wealth of knowledge and information that many are willing to share.