At a time when the effectiveness of the No Child Left Behind act is being questioned, it's good to find at least one example where the law has been a boon rather than a burden.
Whether you agree with the law or not, there's no questioning that the goals behind the law are noble. So for a school to meet the law's Adequate Yearly Progress goals at a time when only 5.6 percent of schools statewide are able to is a feat worthy of recognition.
Navajo Preparatory School can stick this feather in its cap alongside six others, as the school has never failed to meet AYP standards in the last seven years.
By the very nature of their name, AYP levels increase every year. So for Navajo Prep to consistently meet those standards means that educational excellence has been on a constant upward bent at the school.
The school is a private institution under a Navajo Nation charter, and is charged with the mission of providing young Navajo students with a modern curriculum combined with teaching traditional Navajo cultural values. In this day and age, there are few goals less important in the area of American Indian education than to balance cultural education with the need to prepare students for the modern world. Based on Navajo Prep's AYP levels, that mission is working.
There still is some room for improvement however. Although the school rocketed past its proficiency goals in the areas of math and reading, the eventual goal of AYP is to have 100 percent proficiency in all areas by 2014. Their 51.2 and 76.7 percent ratings, while high, show that Navajo Prep still has a way to go, as do all local schools.
We have no doubt that the staff and students of this fine school are on the right track to see their AYP goals fulfilled. After all, when you're seven-for-seven, the smart money says that you'll soon be eight-for-eight.