Tag Archives: education

Electrician gets past tough start


Francisco Corral believes it only takes a moment to help someone out. He’s repaying those times when someone watched out for him.

Corral, the owner of Chico’s Electric LLC, grew up at 19th Avenue and Buckeye Road in Phoenix, a neighborhood he categorized as “rough” for an elementary-school student.

“I always got picked on and stuff. I was always put to the test,” he says. “At first, I felt like I had to prove to everybody I was no punk, so I joined little gangs. But then I started seeing the bad things happen to my friends. My friends started disappearing, they started getting sick and going to jail, paralyzed, you name it.”

In an effort to cultivate more positive role models, he began boxing.

“The coaches we had, they were pretty good,” Corral says. “They’d always tell you to stay out of trouble. It was a privilege for us to go in the ring, so they would always say, ‘If you get in trouble, you’re not going to go up there.’ ”

He attended Metro Tech High School in west Phoenix, where he entered a construction program that had other at-risk kids. There, he spent four hours in class and four hours in training, while being paid a small stipend every two weeks.

“It was very, very hard for us because we weren’t used to respecting anybody,” he says. “We weren’t used to ‘Thank you, sir.’ None of that.”

Teachers took students to places they had never seen, such as power plants, Corral says. He learned the electrical-wiring trade at Metro Tech, though he says he “started messing around with wires when I was 2 years old.”

He started his south Phoenix business in 2003. And his success has allowed the 33-year-old to help family and friends who have also faced trouble. Several have gone on to start their own businesses.

Corral says he was motivated to be an entrepreneur by his family. “My wife and two kids push me to do the best that I can do,” Corral says. “I have the most beautiful kids in the world and I want them to be proud of me. I want them to know that there is never a reason to ever give up in life, no matter the circumstances.”

via Electrician gets past tough start.


Report says performance of Arizona’s charter schools is mixed – washingtonpost.com

 Study finds that gains fall short of success in regular schools

By Nick Anderson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 16, 2009

 SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. — Here, where suburb meets desert, students are clambering amid the cacti to dig soil samples and take notes on flora and fauna. In an old movie complex in nearby Chandler, others are dissecting a Renaissance tract on human nature. On a South Phoenix campus with a National Football League connection, still others are learning how to pass a basket of bread and help a lady into her chair.

These are just three charter schools among a multitude in the most wide-open public education market in America.

Arizona’s flourishing charter school movement underscores the popular appeal of unfettered school choice and the creativity of some educational entrepreneurs. But the state also offers a cautionary lesson as President Obama pushes to dismantle barriers to charter schools elsewhere: It is difficult to promote quantity and quality at the same time.

Under a 1994 law that strongly favors charter schools, 500 of them operate in this state, teaching more than 100,000 students. Those totals account for a quarter of Arizona’s public schools and a tenth of its public school enrollment, giving charters a larger market share here than in any other state.

But a Stanford University research institute reported in June that Arizona charter students did not show as much academic progress as their peers in traditional public schools. Charter backers dispute the study's methods and findings but agree that schools vary widely in quality.

“There are some excellent, excellent charter schools in Arizona,” said Margaret Raymond, director of …

more after the jump Report says performance of Arizona’s charter schools is mixed – washingtonpost.com.