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  • Thursday, April 14, 2011


    Santiago Charter Middle School named 2011 California Distinguished School

    Santiago Charter Middle School named a
    2011 California Distinguished School

    Orange Unified’s Santiago Charter Middle School was one of only seven Orange County Middle and High Schools named as a 2011 Distinguished School by the California Department of Education. Santiago Charter was the first charter school in Orange County and also won the California Distinguished School title in 1999. This year is the California Distinguished School Recognition program’s 25th year with 97 schools statewide honored as year as Distinguished Schools.

    Applicant schools were identified by the state for eligibility on the basis of the state’s Academic Performance Index (API) and the federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) test results. Applicant schools also had to identify how they are having success in closing the “achievement gap”. That gap in learning is based on societal racial and social-economic realities that Educrats and educational elitists have been trying to close with magic-bullet approaches that have eluded long-term social engineers and have resulted in the growing practice of politicizing public education. That politicization, starting with the failed No Child Left Behind federal law , which promised every child in America as “grade level proficient” by 2014, has turned public education into a scapegoat for larger political agendas.

    This year, the California Department of Education required the schools earning the Distinguished School title to describe two “Signature Practices” that helped “narrow” (not close) the “achievement gap” at their schools. State bureaucrats from the Department of Education then visited the schools to “validate” the Signature Practices” Each winning school had to agree to share those Signature Practices with other schools and serve as mentors “to those who want to replicate their work” and post them on the Signature Practices Website (see link below). Currently 19 middle schools are listed in the “Closing the Achievement” gap website from Orange County. Those 19 schools include two from Los Alamitos Unified with 1% English Learners. The middle schools in Orange County listed on with the highest percent of English Learners are one from Santa Ana Unified with 27% English Learners- (all Hispanic or Latino), one from Ocean View School District in Fountain Valley with 29% (197 Asian/ 316 Hispanic) and one from Garden Grove with 25% English Learners (513 Asian/ 113 Hispanic). All the Asian sub groups scores are well over the 800 minimum score, with many over 900. The Mendez Fundamental School had a 56% growth in 2007-2008 when they were selected for the Distinguished School. That growth fell to a still healthy 20% in 2009, but Santa Ana Unified as a whole has not been able to duplicate the success of this school.

    The 2011 California Distinguished Schools will be honored during an awards ceremony and dinner at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim on May 20, 2011. Also being honored during the ceremony will be schools selected last month as Title I Academic Achievement Awardees and California's nominees for the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. The event and awards are funded by donations from many of California's most prominent corporations and statewide educational organizations.

    CLICK ON: Signature Practices

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