To push San Juan Elementary past the state’s goals for academic achievement, Principal Silvia Pule made a little deal with the students.
You do the work, I’ll become a human sundae.
The state's Department of Education has been keeping an eye on San Juan Elementary School since 2005-06, according to the state, when it failed for the second year in a row to meet its goals according to the national No Child Left Behind law.
Since then, the school, which features the dual-immersion “Two-Way” program, has been trying to dig itself out of what’s called “program improvement.”
Last year, the student’s standardized testing gave the school a score of 780 out of a possible 1,000. The state wants schools to score at least 800.
So a bet was born.
“When I heard about this incentive, I knew we could do it,” PTA President Meliss Hodge said of Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor’s offer to drown the principal in ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate sauce and yes, sprinkles.
Just 20 little points more.
San Juan’s kids scored 33, the highest jump for a school in the Capistrano Unified School District this year. The school also met all other achievement goals.
According to the state, it was the Hispanic and poor students who made the most gains. One more year like this, and the school exits program improvement.
So what might be the incentive then? Maybe a human zoo?