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Rescuing Kids, One at a Time

Susan Notes:

This Good News story has special meaning for me for several reasons:

1) I have recommended the North Atlantic Regional Schools [NARS] possibility to desperate parents, always wondering about the results. For a fee, they evaluate a student's scholastic record and issue a diploma when appropriate or set up courses needed for a diploma.

2) Recently, I was chewed apart at the AFT convention after I mentioned in a talk that I have recommended homeschooling to parents whose kindergartners and first graders were being beat up by DIBELS.

3) The spirit of Steve Orel of the World of Opportunity in Birmingham, AL, shines through this story. He told Gloria and me about NARS. Steve's work with students abandoned by the public school system is legendary and that work continues.

We must act on the principle: Do for other peoples' children what we would want for our own. Of course, the reverse is true: To hell with unions that allow other peoples' children to be beat up by a corrupt system.

The student described below missed a Florida diploma by one point. Look at what he was able to do with a diploma in hand.

Here is the "About Us" from the Florida Coalition for Assessment Reform:

The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) is a secret, high-stakes test that cannibalizes the curriculum, penalizes poor test-takers, diverts scarce resources, traumatizes children, shames and stigmatizes communities, usurps local control, and turns schools into giant test prep centers.

The Florida Coalition for Assessment Reform, Inc. (FCAR) is a grassroots not-for-profit organization that provides resources and assistance to parents, teachers, students, and other citizens who support constructive assessment.

That said, FCAR's co-founder and leader Gloria Pipkin received this note from a Monroe County parent recently [printed with the parent's permission].

Dear Gloria, I came across an article about FCAT and was very happy to see your name. Four years ago I wrote you about my son who for whatever reason could not pass the reading portion of the FCAT. He had done well at Sylvan and his grade average was 3.0. His last stab at at the FCAT was 299 and did not recieve a dipolma.

You suggested a school in Maine [NARS]. I sent the paperwork off and 3 weeks later my son had a diploma. He then enrolled in Community College and looked for a job. At the end of the 1st quarter he had an interview with _______who hired him and sent him to school. He now has a great job and is doing well. This story probably would have been alot different had it not been for your advice. Thank you for taking time for my son.


— Susan Ohanian
parent correspondence


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