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Philadelphia Charter Hands Over Tracking Student Progress To Mission Control

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia charter school is borrowing a term from NASA, but it’s got nothing to do with space travel.

Typically it’s students pouring over numbers and building graphs in class, but at Laguori Academy, it’s called Mission Control.

This is where a small group of analysts and educators remotely track the progress of about 205 students, from four different schools, struggling academically.

“Schools have a hard time informing students and parents about how a kid’s doing in Algebra until 45 days after the school year starts,” Pat Wright of Wright Solutions Group explains.

As students complete online assignments, teachers can see how each student is progressing. If they’re not on target, it’s time to intervene with more one-on-one instruction from the teacher.

One teacher said that since using the program, the thing that he’s noticed most is the confidence level of students soaring. “I have kids that are way far behind in math, so like an 8th grader that’s on a 6th grade level, we’re hoping to get him back on that 8th grade level,” said Corey Huerta, a teacher at Friere Charter Middle School. “If we’re already half way through the year, and he’s already progressed farther than we even thought so far, so we’re looking to even go above and beyond before the end of the year.”

Like all things in education, parents have to be included. They have often have Skype and video calls with members of the team who hope to have an entire mission control centered school in September.

We’re looking to compliment the program in the school,” said Michael Marrone, the founder of Liguori Academy. “Not to say that the teacher’s not doing the job well, but just to kind of help them with the population of the students.”

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