by David Safier
There's a wonderful story in today's Star about Principal Ray Chavez and Apollo Middle School in the Sunnyside district, and the positive changes since he took over a few years ago.
The story is so glowing, it almost sounds too good to be true, but I'm going to take it on face value.
The story it brings up that old question, if this school can do it, why can't others? My tentative answer is, others can do it as well, but it's not as simple as "Let's see what they're doing at Apollo and do it here." Educational success doesn't transport easily. Education isn't like McDonalds where you can drop a new, identical franchise and expect it to function just like the others around the country. Educational success is much more complicated and fragile. It takes a certain level of genius and determination from administration and staff, and a chemistry that works.
The story is well worth a read.