Guest Editorial: Credit Where Credit Is Due

By Scottsdale Pinetop

There’s no question that it has been a tough year for the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD). With the dismissal of Superintendent Birdwell and other school administrators, school protests and rise of the “Red for Ed” movement, it’s easy to dismiss the progress made by SUSD –specifically the recent successes at Coronado High School.

At a time when Arizona public education too closely resembles its desert environment, Coronado High school is blossoming. And at its core is the Coronado Success Initiative.

For years, Coronado High School was considered one of the lowest, if not worst performing school in the Scottsdale Unified School District with low graduation rates and few students taking college-entrance tests. In response, Scottsdale Unified School District enacted the Coronado Success Initiative (CSI) in 2016. Partnering with the Mary Lou Fulton Teacher College at ASU and support from the Scottsdale Charros, the CSI project was established to create a new future for Coronado High School by rebuilding the school, improve education and better prepare its students for college success.

Today Coronado students aren’t just adapting to the new expectations, but exceeding them. According to the CSI One-Year Update, the number of students failing courses has decreased by 17% and the number of students with a GPA below 2.0 is down 38%, with more student applying to in-state colleges and trade programs. Indeed, it’s been stated that all graduating seniors this year applied to college.

Regardless of the current politics surrounding SUSD, it’s important to appreciate and recognize the process achieved by the Coronado High School’s leadership, teachers and students.

Today’s education environment is more competitive than ever before. In response to that, public education must hold itself accountable and provide the best possible environment for students to not only survive but thrive. Coronado High School is living up to that message with the help of the CSI project and it’s time for other SUSD schools to follow suit. The CSI project is a prime example that when educational systems and community work together to create academic success, everyone benefits.

It certainly appears to be the dawn of a new day at Coronado High, and that’s great news for all “Dons,” past, present and future.