Pueblo Gardens' success brings state official
Arizona Daily Star


Tucson, Arizona | Published: http://www.azstarnet.com/allheadlines/200325

A South Side school that has consistently succeeded despite some tough obstacles was recognized by the state on Friday.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne visited Pueblo Gardens Elementary School, 2210 E. 33rd St., to congratulate students and staff members on being labeled "Highly Performing" in state standards.

Horne has been visiting schools around the state that are succeeding academically despite challenging demographics.

"This school is a good example of schools that set high expectations for kids and then work very hard to make that a reality," he said.

The school failed to meet federal standards several years ago, but it has passed since, improving to "Performing" on state standards in 2003-04 and "Highly Performing" in 2005-06. That's especially noteworthy considering that residents of the surrounding neighborhood speak five languages and have a 20 percent to 40 percent mobility rate, resulting in a lot of turnover at the school. Also, 90 percent of the students live below the poverty level.

State education officials attributed the success to the hard work of the 300-plus students and the vision of Principal Marco Ramirez.