- Your Voice
“It’s that time of year again.” chortles Serei in a maniacal tone, “Seniors are frantically applying to colleges, writing essays and fretting over which colleges they should consider. This is probably the second, really important decision they will ever make.” Although it’s clear that I’m being setup by this strikingly attractive, diabolical lady, I obligingly say, “OK I’ll take your bait! What was the first? With her deviously impish smile she mocks, “Selecting Accelerated Learning Laboratory of course, you silly guy. But really, a student’s entire future is balanced on this one point in time. Students at this age are at a funny point in life, they are neither adult nor child. Most are only slightly aware of the long-term impact of their pending decisions. Most of their parents either don’t know how to help, or don’t have time. Most high schools don’t have the resources or expertise to give students direction.”
Accelerated Elementary and Secondary Schools (AES) student, Jose Antonio Gonzalez Mendoza, a senior this year, took third place in the “Annual World Chinese Bridge Proficiency Competition Finals” held in Yunnan Province, China. Jose became The Southwest United States Regional Representative after winning first place in the “Regional Chinese Bridge Proficiency Competition” held at San Diego State University, May, 2013. Since the competition’s inception in 2002, more than 600 contestants representing over 50 countries have participated. Jose said, “I have to give my brilliant teacher, Claire Wang and her incredible teaching techniques, credit for my success. Without her nurturing support, I would never have dared take on such a challenge.”
As I walk into the main office at Accelerated Learning Laboratory (ALL), I am dwarfed by two walls covered with framed acceptance letters to colleges like MIT, Princeton and Duke, along with financial award letters for $50,000 to $60,000 per year for four years. I’m dumbfounded, that’s about a quarter of million dollars to each student. Distracted by a voice calling my name I pivot around and fall into Asian eyes belonging to a gorgeous ALL administrator, Serei Kay, who has come to fetch me for our interview. Trying not to stare, I sheepishly follow. I ask about the letters. In a matter-of-fact voice Serei says, “Yup, most of them get into highly selective schools with loads of financial aid. But! I thought you wanted to talk about the wisdom of academically accelerating students?”
Serei Kay, an administrator at Accelerated Learning Laboratory (ALL), smiles as she explains, “Not long ago, many educators claimed that exposing children to abstract concepts at too young an age would damage intellectual development and rigorous expectations would damage self esteem. We now know that exposure to abstract concepts in early childhood actually enhances intellectual development and a rigorous curriculum builds confidence. Unfortunately, there is a long delay between research and application in the normal classroom. This is why most schools are operating on false assumptions.”
Accelerated Elementary and Secondary Schools (AESS) was recently identified by the Washington Post as having the 6th most rigorous secondary school in America. AESS is K-12 and includes a preschool. It is located on Camino De Oeste, west of Silverbell Road, just south of Sunset Road.