Here in Denver we have the Arrupe Jesuit High School. It is scholarship only. The students are mainly underprivileged. There is no entrance exam except for basic proficiency. They do not cherry pick the best students. The results are astounding.
The school is a work study program. A company hires a team for the school year consisting of four students. The cost is a little over $20,000 per team paid by the company. For that they get a student worker every day working eight hours. No benefits except some highly motivated young men and women We deliver them at 8:00 AM and we pick them up at 4:00 Every day.
The kids are trained in basic office skills before they get there. They are in shirt and tie for boys and skirts for the girls. There is inspection before they leave school. They work like their future depends on it. It does.
There is discipline but there is also a tradition of involvement between the school, corporate sponsor, student and parents. Both student and parent have to apply. Communication is constant. Not all homes are stable but they figure it out.
The companies love them. Staff heads have been known to ask for the Arrupe kid. They have trouble giving them enough work to do. There a banks, law firms, securities firms, manufacturers, local government.
The best part is in the last year there was 100% graduation rate. The entire senior class was accepted into higher education. They won over $2.5 million in scholarships. No other educational system comes even close.
Arrupe is part of a national Corporate study program that is called Cristo Rey. There are 24 schools in 17 states educating 6500 young people. They have received grants form Bill and Melinda Gates. They work.
The cost of educating a student is $7500. The students put their $20,000 into a fund that is split four ways or $5,000 per student. The rest is made up in donations and grants. What does it cost to educate a child in your neck of the woods? This is money well spent.
Sure it is Catholic but it proves the viability and ultimate success. As in “Teacher Teacher” a lot of their work does not require special fancy school buildings (they use the space of a defunct parish school) or huge outlays. It is just discipline, parental involvement and an atmosphere for learning.
We could educate more kids with more corporate sponsors. It is a system that is designed to teach and for children to learn. Funny, no one is trying to use this model for public education except for some charter schools. Probably too radical. Too bad.
Ted The Great.
PS: Want to see more go to:
http://www.ArrupeJesuit.com Be careful. You might get hooked