A 10-Year Experiment Could Pay Off For All Of Our Schools

The San Miguel School is soon going to graduate their 10th class of middle school students this coming spring.

The success of their educational system might offer some alternatives for struggling public schools.

The San Miguel student body is mostly made up of at-risk students from disadvantaged families.

Most don't speak English at home, but they leave ready to succeed in high school.

The national high school graduate rate for Hispanic students is about 70%. San Miguel's graduates are at 96%.

The staff credits a long school year and long school days. The students attend 190 a year for nine hours a day.

That's a huge increase over the time that public school students spend in class.

San Miguel classes are also small and average about 12 students per teacher. While all the things they do won't necessarily translate to a public school, their model is clearly successful.

The staff says they have great respect for pubic school teachers. But they hope to see more schools following their methods in the years ahead.