Jim Gladson, president and founder of the Los Angeles Maritime Institute, called Friday. He knew I was interested in an article he wrote for LAMI’s newsletter, The Topsail Sheet, about a program I thought might be of interest to attendees of this year’s conference on measuring success. Jim and the Mountain View School District in South El Monte, California partnered for a program helping at-risk youth. LAMI and one of the district’s two middle schools, Kranz Middle School, worked together along with the University of Southern California to build and execute an intervention program designed to lower truancy and disciplinary problems while raising grades and school involvement. The results were amazing, and I quote: “all, 100%, of the kids were still in school. Not only that, 100% had gone up in grade point averages (especially the girls); 100% had gone down to virtually zero in truancy; 100% had gone down to virtually zero in discipline referrals; and all but three were involved in extra programs like band or sports, etc.”
Even better, a few years later when Jim spoke to the assistant principal of the high school that receives Kranz students, the principal said, “. . . over the years we have come to recognize that the kids from Kranz, who have been in your sailing program, are head and shoulders above the other kids from Kranz, and we want a piece of that action.”
Read Jim’s story at The Kranz Middle School Success Story.
Jim’s conversation on Friday wan’t all sweetness and light. He expressed frustration in crafting these kinds of programs. One big source was the reluctance of school districts and schools to share their student performance data. When asked, Jim speculated that privacy concerns and maybe a reluctance to expose low performance may be drivers for this reluctance. Jim had some ideas on how to work through this. You may, too. Please start or join a discussion on ASTA’s conference wiki* at www.tallships.wikispaces.com. From this discussion we’ll begin an engagement that will enrichen and, I’m sure, enliven this year’s conference.
— Posted by Eric J. Shaw, Ph.D., ASTA Education Director
*Aren’t sure what a wiki is or what it’s for? Have no fear; ours opens with a description, links for more information and directions on how to participate! After reading our short introduction, click on “help” in the upper right hand corner and explore.