Where are the models for great 21st century urban schools? The answers may surprise some.
In cities across America, school systems are seeing that a majority of students are minorities. In addition, poverty is on the increase and the student pupulation comes from refugee groups speaking an infinite variety of languages and dialects.
But in some areas, schools are improving, and scores are up. Des Moines is one such city.
Since the start of its program for English Language Learners 30 years ago, Des Moines has seen a huge increase in the number of students who are coming from different parts of the world. Adaptability has been key to the continued success of the program, as the students come from different areas with different needs and abilities.
Most students today in the Des Moines public schools are minorities. The challenges facing the diverse student body are poverty and English language ability, but the district is showing academic success that make it worthy of being a model for other cities.