Great Hearts: Looking at the facts

In one week, Great Hearts Academies will hold informational meetings for San Antonio parents. A comment on that announcement challenged me to look closer at the data about Great Hearts’ performance.

The comment asserted that in some parts of Phoenix (“way north where the rich people live”), all schools (including Great Hearts) are high-performing, whereas in middle-class neighborhoods, the test scores at Great Hearts are not as high as test scores in wealthy neighborhoods.

Here are some facts about Great Hearts.

  • Great Hearts serves 6,200 students at campuses all over the Phoenix area:  Scottsdale Prep is in the north Phoenix area, Glendale Prep and Trivium Prep are on the west side, Mesa Prep and Chandler Prep are located on the east side, Veritas Prep and Teleos are located in the center of town.
  • Great Hearts is an open enrollment public charter school. There are no tuition fees to separate out students by their ability to pay. There are no admissions criteria.
  • Some students come to Great Hearts performing below grade level. For a year or two, while they are catching up, those students will post low scores on standardized tests, but they will show improvement.
  • No matter their income level or what part of town they came from, all students at Great Hearts get the opportunity to develop their character (to become, as they say, “great-hearted men and women”) and get ready for college: graduates have gone on to Dartmouth, Hillsdale, Pomona, Princeton, Wellesley, Brown and Harvard.

San Antonio parents: I hope you will register for and attend one of to the informational meetings next week and learn more about Great Hearts.

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