This week the US Dept of Education aired their "Education News Parents Can Use" show, which featured Dr. Lawrence Hernandez, the Principal of Cesar Chavez Academy in Pueblo. You can watch the webcast at: http://www.connectlive.com/events/ednews/ It's the Sept. 18th show.
The second quarter of the show, between the 15 min. mark and 30 min. mark, features scenes from Cesar Chavez Academy and then an interview with Lawrence and another Principal. Lawrence notes that they receive new students, performing up to four years behind grade level, and so they "close the achievement gap" by intense remediation, including one-on-one tutoring. Students advance quicker, sometimes one year's progress in one semester.
The "secret" to Cesar Chavez' Academy's success could be summarized in two words: intensity and focus. They don't waste any time and everyone knows how important their work is. In the video segment, linked in the first paragraph of this post, a CCA curriculum director states they know where each of their students are academically, even before they come to the school. The culture of CCA is an intense focus on achievement data and advancing each student as quickly as possible. With one-on-one tutoring available for underperforming students, there's no place to hide! They have to learn!