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Cocial Impact of Class on Educational Achievement

The school has several after-care programs for children and the school facility itself is open for extended hours on weekdays and on Saturdays for parent conferences. The school also sponsors a mobile library that goes into the neighborhood housing projects. To fund these projects, the school staff became skilled at grantwriting. As one teacher explains, "Those grants enabled us to set up computer networks, create the mobile library unit for the housing project, even buy a bus for community outreach" (Merina, 1995, p. 11).

The activism of the staff at Teacher's Memorial created an improved school. Student scores are up, and parental involvement has increased dramatically. The teaching staff demonstrated that a substantial difference can be made if educators are willing to do what it takes.

Another rural school in North Carolina also is experiencing success in its efforts to bridge the social inequity gap. The Clarkton School of Discovery in Clarkton, NC is a middle school that was transformed into a gifted-and talented magnet school. But school administrators decided to forgo entrance examinations and open their magnet school to all students in the school district: "Their belief was that every child is special and that creating a magnet school with a gifted-and-talented curriculum approach would help children in rural Bladen County to identify and develop their unique gifts and talents" (Collins, 1996, p. 132). Under the curriculum, students can choose up three elective classes each quarter. Some classes are held in cooperation with local universities. The quality of the educational experience at the Clarkton School is equal to that of schools in wealthy, suburban school districts, and the educational experience is as rewarding for the staff as for the pupils. As the Clarkton principal notes, "I've been in education for nineteen years, and these last two years with the School of Discovery have been by far the most...

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