Principal's 'Crazy' Ways Save CA Schools

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One of America's most unconventional educators wants to spread his methods to schools around the country.

Ben Chavis turned some of Oakland's worst schools into California's best and explains how he did it in his new book Crazy Like a Fox. 

The principal's methods involve no coddling and doling out harsh punishments for failure, but also lavish rewards for excellence.

"If you don't do your homework when your homework was due, you don't get a seat that day.  You sit on the floor," Chavis told CBN News.  "Another thing, you're going to have to stay after school for an hour and do your homework.  So you might as well do it."

"If (a student takes) an AP class and they get a score of three or higher in that advanced placement course.. which means they got college credit, we give them $350," he added.

Chavis' charter schools receive less than half the funding of Oakland's other public schools, but they manage to provide free tutoring to any student who needs it.

He hopes his book will inspire other school systems to embrace a similar unorthodox approach.

*Original Broadcast Date: September 23, 2009.

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