by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
The importance of high expectations: Phil Javies of Sugar Creek Charter is a great story from Alex Granados of EdNC.
Javies said the key to his success with students is consistency and always letting the students know what to expect.
And it’s evident in the way he teaches. As he goes through the rubric for an upcoming project, he spends a lot of time laying out for students what is expected of them. He shows them what the project would look like if it didn’t meet his expectations. He has them explain why the sample project falls short. He also shows them an example of a project that fully meets the requirements. The students know exactly what they need to do to succeed.
But Javies’ class isn’t all serious business. He spends a lot of time joking and relating to students. But when it’s time to lay down his expectations, he can quickly switch to a serious demeanor.
Remember that public school advocates contend that schools like Sugar Creek exist only because of neglect of district schools.
I’m thrilled to hear of successful 2018 graduates. I would have preferred a column from the Sugar Creek board raising awareness of North Carolina’s national ranking of 43rd in school spending, or the value of small classrooms, or the importance of strong leadership in cultivating excellent instruction. Or, an acknowledgment that while Sugar Creek has achievement similar to CMS schools (like Garinger and West Charlotte), many charter schools do not serve children living in poverty with success. Or, a reflection that if we were to address racial inequity in our community, schools like Sugar Creek wouldn’t exist, because children could attend their neighborhood school.
I think Mr. Javies and other employees at Sugar Creek would beg to differ.