School population is 57% economically disadvantaged. Majority are minorities. Graduation rate 100%. College acceptance rate 100% Tuition is free. Nine schools on seven campuses, centered around Oak Cliff area of Dallas. Ready to expand. What is their secret?
Here is their mission: The Mission of Life School is to train leaders with life skills for the twenty-first century by establishing strong academics, character training, and a parenting program.
Here is their history: In 1989 Rev. Dr. Tom Wilson, who was already involved in many charitable activities, start Life School because he wished to see a greater percentage of people whose lives were permanently changed. Then in 1998 Life School became a charter school, meaning there is no tuition, and thereby able to serve an ever greater number of people. Today Life Schools are located from Central Texas through south Dallas, and are ready to expand anywhere, given qualified local partners.
Here are the facts: Life School is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that provides a high quality K-12 education along with character and leadership training to thousand of students annually. Life School has received the highest academic accountability rating issued by the Texas Education Agency over the past three years. Frugal and transparent financial accounting, too! Revenue per student is less than many public schools. Data informed, innovative, founded firmly and explicitly on a particular set of values.
Whether you are a mother struggling to get half-way decent education for your children, or social scientist who wants an answer to the widespread dismal social reality, or an educator who wants a practical solution, or a church/philanthrophic group ready to find a workable worthy cause — wow! — here is a group of people who have results beyond what anyone thought was possible. Listen, read, very closely, and you may ferret out what I think is their secret.
In any case, let’s follow the evidence based path toward best practices. Please share with all interested parties. Great news especially that is implementable, should be shared. Yes?