Marva Collins rather embarrassingly exposed just how inept the cookie cutter mentality of public education is, and just how badly the system regularly stumbles:
The information is from her own web site
Thus, Westside preparatory School was founded in 1975 in Garfield Park, a Chicago inner-city area. During the first year, Marva took in learning disabled, problem children and even one child who had been labeled by Chicago public school authorities as borderline retarded. At the end of the first year, every child scored at least five grades higher proving that the previous labels placed on these children were misguided. The CBS program, 60 Minutes, visited her school for the second time in 1996. That little girl who had been labeled as border line retarded, graduated in 1976 from college Summa Cum Laude. It was documented on the 60 Minutes programs in 1996. Marva's graduates have entered some of the nation's finest colleges and universities, such as Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, to mention just a few. And, they have become physicians, lawyers, engineers, educators, and entered other professions.
, but can be verified from other sources. One thing which is not laid out in that paragraph, which is the most interesting to me, is how she did it. She used the classics of the "Western Canon," and she used real life. When she taught mathematics, she taught them practical applications (saving money, setting up and following a budget), then she had them read The Merchant of Venice
(which also allowed them discuss racism in a context other than that which they experienced themselves as black Americans), and finally, she took them to the floor of the commodities market in Chicago, so they could see what they had learned applied in the real world.
Marva Collins is an amazing woman.