In a California elementary district known for sky-high test scores, an alternative K-8 school promises no grades or tests. But Cupertino’s “no stress school” has empty seats, writes columnist Patty Fisher in the San Jose Mercury News.
A majority of Christa McAuliffe students opt out of state tests. Scores for those who do take the tests are high, but below the district’s average. The school’s principal says teachers evaluate students’ understanding.
Parent Rick Kitson knows McAuliffe has a reputation as a “hippie school,” but he calls it a “research magnet school” where children strive to understand, ask questions and think creatively.
. . . Meanwhile, parents line up to get their kids into Faria Elementary, a back-to-basics alternative that always scores tops in the state.
Who does pick McAuliffe? In a two-thirds Asian district, white students make up 58 percent of McAuliffe’s enrollment.