One particular charter school in Manatee County is enjoying remarkable success with a novel approach to education. Add the fact that the Team Success sits in an economically beleagured neighborhood with Title 1 status, and its achievement is all the more dramatic.
This year Team Success soared to an A performance grade from the state Department of Education, rising from an "F" only two years ago. The school celebrated that accomplishment in grand fashion last week with an assembly where students were rewarded for their scholastic achievements with envelopes stuffed with cash. Some students won as much as $400 for passing FCAT scores. Rewards are a big part of the school's culture.
Team Success arose out of the old PAL Academy Charter School. Principal Fred Spence took over five years ago and instituted a sports philosophy in the classroom, challenging students to succeed much like a coach motivates players. Thus, the name, too: Team Success.
That's paying off exceptionally well in a poor minority neighborhood where the school is eligible for Title 1 federal funds to pay for extra resources. Team Success ranks as the only Title 1 school in Manatee County to earn an A from the state.
In a word, awesome. Kudos, kids, and congratulations to principal Spence.
Read our story about this at www.bradenton.com/education.