UTSA National Center for Accelerated Schools to be base for U.S. satellite centers

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(Jan. 22, 2014) -- The UTSA College of Education and Human Development will launch the National Center for Accelerated Schools during a dinner and symposium featuring Henry Levin, an economist and educator who founded the center in 1986. The UTSA center, which currently serves the Southwest region, will be the main base for additional satellite centers throughout the country.

The symposium, which will include Bexar County school superintendents, UTSA President Ricardo Romo and City Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran, District 3, will be at 6 p.m. Jan. 31 in the University Center Denman Room (2.01.28) at the UTSA Main Campus.

Each Center for Accelerated Schools provides high-quality instruction in lower socioeconomic communities through partnerships between parents, staff and faculty. They also provide continuous on-site coaching for teachers, allowing students the same opportunities those in higher socioeconomic-level schools have.

"This process allows schools to determine changes necessary to go from remediation to acceleration," said Joan Vasbinder, director of the UTSA Center for Accelerated Schools.

At the symposium, Levin will speak on the economics of education and how establishing gifted-and-talented programs in lower socioeconomic schools can be more successful than remediation approaches.

The center has been at UTSA since 2012 and previously was at the University of Texas at Austin. The event will serve as the ribbon cutting for the national hub.

The accelerated schools process has changed the climate of many underperforming schools including some in the Edgewood and Somerset independent school districts. Throughout San Antonio, 11 charter schools use the Centers for Accelerated Schools model.

"It's very practical training and that's what makes it effective training," said Claudette Yarbrough, superintendent at Higgs, Carter, King Gifted and Talented Charter Academy, which has been an accelerated school for 10 years. "It's one of the best decisions a school can make."

For more information, contact Martha Bohrer at 210-458-2414.