U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings will visit a Mesa charter school known for beating the odds in a low-income neighborhood.
Spellings will visit classrooms Monday afternoon and attend an assembly at Mesa Arts Academy, an arts-based charter school operated at the East Valley Boys and Girls Club, 221 W 6th Ave.
“They called me and said they had seen our test scores increasing and they know about our demographics,” said Susan Douglas, the school’s director. “We’re beating the odds, so to speak, so she wanted to come and visit our school.”
More than 79 percent of the school’s 215 students live in poverty, and more than half come to the school speaking no English, Douglas said.
Yet this year, 100 percent of the school’s eighth-graders passed the math and writing portions of the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards exam.
Spellings will be in Phoenix next week to attend an education roundtable organized by the Arizona Business and Education Coalition.