Tiny Lindsay school district leads the way in the San Joaquin Valley

The Lindsay Unified School District has just won a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education in the 2012 Race to the Top  competition. The RTTT grants are designed to reward school districts that use innovative means to reach their students. In Lindsay, they are allowing students to work at their level and advance when they have demonstrated proficiency in required skills.

That seems like a simple concept, but it is a change from the traditional system, and schools generally cling to the status quo.

This is how we put it in today’s editorial:

“Sometimes our over-choreographed public schools make learning much too complicated, as they cater to the educational elite, the political insiders and textbook publishers. Lost in this shuffle are the students.

“In many ways, our public schools are more about serving the adults in the system than the students they are supposed to be educating. A good example is the school calendar. It is set up for the convenience of adults, even though the extended vacation periods create learning deficits as students are away from the classroom for large chunks of time.

“Lindsay Unified puts the emphasis on the classroom, with its performance-based system. “People learn in different ways and they learn in different time frames,” Superintendent Tom Rooney said last month after Lindsay was named a Race to the Top finalist.”

Here’s the complete news story that ran on the front page of today’s Bee.