Adam Crain

Charleston Leads in Education Innovation

February 10, 2016

Adam Crain

Recently, we introduced you to the Washinton family  and shared how Meeting Street Academy in Charleston was providing the best education environment for Venita and Julius’ daughter, Victoria. The Washington family has thankfully found the right fit, but other families in Charleston need more options to provide opportunity-unleashing education.

Clearly, the results of Meeting Street Schools (MSS) are being noticed, which is why the Charleston County School Board is considering using the same education techniques exhibited at Meeting Street Academy and Meeting Street Elementary @ Brentwood to transform Burns Elementary school. The Post and Courier op-ed, “How to Close the Achievement Gap” is raising awareness of this exciting possibility, explaining:

“For years, educators have been trying different ways to close the achievement gap between white and black students in Charleston County. Finally, one of those attempts is working.

That puts the Charleston County School Board in an encouraging position to spread the concepts being used successfully at Meeting Street Academy and Meeting Street Elementary @ Brentwood, to reach Burns Elementary students.

The change will add $3,000 to the present $10,000 per-pupil cost, but board members should recognize that the returns promise to be worth that investment and more. They should support it. The per-pupil cost for students in some other schools is far greater, and the results far poorer.

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For that investment, Burns students will be taught in classrooms with two teachers hand-picked from thousands of applicants, if the experience at Brentwood is any indication. They will have access to a speech therapist, social workers and therapists. And they will use a curriculum chosen especially for their school.

Most importantly, they can expect to defy trends and significantly close the achievement gap.”

Meeting Street Academy continues to be an example of the type of innovative choice that families need and like. The results speak for themselves: just two years into the Meeting Street @ Brentwood public-private experiment, kindergarten students are seeing dramatic results, with only about 34 percent of students scoring in the top two quartiles in the fall…and 85 percent doing so by the spring. That’s real progress for students and families most in need of the hope of a good education.

We applaud the Charleston County School District for thinking outside the box about how to support their most vulnerable students. To read more about this exciting partnership happening right here in our own backyard, you can view the entire op-ed here.