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Exceeding Expectations

The students at KIPP Delta Charter School in Arkansas receive their instruction out of trailers with fewer resources than most other students in the state. Of the entire student body, 88 percent are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, and come from neighborhoods with a 40 percent poverty rate and above average crime numbers.

And yet, every single member of this year’s graduating class has been accepted into college, and the school ranks fourth in the state for academics by US News and World Report.

Currently, the K-12 charter school has over 900 students, who are receiving a positive educational experience they never would have obtained otherwise.

The charter school educators and administrators hold their students to high academic standards and expectations, firmly believing that given the proper chance, every student can learn.

There could be more outstanding schools like these provided state lawmakers strengthen the state’s D-rated charter school law .  Currently, only the State Board can approve charters, schools are subject to regulation and funding decisions by local entities, and there is a continuous cap on open-enrollment schools.

Arnez Orr, a KIPP Delta junior with a 3.7 GPA taking a multitude of Advanced Placement courses in addition to being in the school band, said he might want to be an architect after going to college.

Orr and his siblings are all receiving the same opportunity, and he is slated to be the second in his family to attend college behind his older sister.

“That’s what I’m going to do when I get older. Yes, it’s like already set in stone,” Orr said.

We believe him.