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FLASH MEMORIES

Leverage Past Wins to Fuel Future Successes

Sunnyside High School in Sunnyside, Washington, was not such a sunny place to be back in 2007. The graduation rate was an abysmal 41 percent, an example of what the documentary Waiting for ‘Superman’ termed a “failure factory.” And the district-wide student body was so economically disadvantaged that the US Department of Education allocated special grant funding so that all the kids at the school received no-cost meals throughout both the school year and summer.

But that was not the school I visited in 2014 to address teachers and administrators during their annual school year kick-off event. Sunnyside had transformed itself in seven short years into one of the most-watched districts ...

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