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Bridging the Educational Divide, Vielka McFarlane

Making a difference in L.A.'s inner cities Vielka McFarlne, founder Celerity Educational Group is doing just that. She's turning the tides on a failing educational system.

 
PRLog - May 1, 2007 - In the midst of an ailing LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School District) educational system is an idealist whose methods are inspiring change. Vielka McFarlane, Founder and Executive Director of Celerity Educational Group, has taken a stand in an effort to revitalize the educational system in L.A.’s inner cities.

While others talk a good game Ms. McFarlane, a veteran educator and administrator is hip deep in a solution. Her plan was to open a charter school in an economically deprived area and improve education. When she unveiled her plans for her project to financiers, she was told her model was too large, too expensive and failure waiting to happen. She knew the only way to fix the problem was to meet it head on. So she put her money where her mouth is, literally by mortgaging her own home to open Celerity Nascent Charter School. She could’ve chosen an affluent location. Instead she selected an adverse area notorious for poor education standards, South Los Angeles.

Her agenda was to change how children were educated, to offer them choices. “It’s about being able to walk away with a choice. To decide what you want to do whether it’s going to college, trade school or straight into the job market. With choice anything is possible and students are more likely to succeed,” says McFarlane.

Celerity is comprised of approximately 70% African-American and 30% Hispanic students all of which are largely considered ‘at-risk’ students. Celerity has turned the tables on a failing system by scoring a 664 on the Academic Performance Index (API), outperforming the schools it draws most of its students from. Their Average Daily Attendance (ADA) is 98.1% which is unheard of in the school system and Celerity is making it happen in the inner city.

How are they succeeding? “By providing an atmosphere of high expectations, engaging, standards-based accelerated curriculum with challenging learning activities,” says McFarlane. One of the most important tenets at Celerity is teamwork. It’s a key factor for their success. Ms. McFarlane credits a devoted staff to helping her reach students. “The faculty’s dedication and determination empower students and families and provide an atmosphere of higher learning,” says McFarlane. She plans to expand her ideas to include two additional charter schools this Fall.

In an area synonymous with educational failure, mellifluous echoes of happy children now ring through the halls. Vielka McFarlane has taken a stand and turned the tides of a failing system. She’s made the notion of change, in an impoverished area a reality. It’s the now blueprint for future Celerity Educational Group charter schools and an example other schools, nationwide should hastily follow.

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Source:Steve Allen Media
Website:http://www.steveallenmedia.com
Phone:661.255.8283
Zip:91321
City/Town:Newhall - California - United States
Industry:Education
Tags:celerity nascent charter school, vielka mcfarlane, charter school, school, Education, vielka, mcfarlane, celerity
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