Goodwill charter would bring dropouts of all ages back to school

Friday, April 25, 2014

When you picture a charter school, you may imagine a crowd of youngsters in tidy uniforms learning their ABCs. But one of Shelby County’s newest charter schools, if it is approved, would serve a group of people more likely to be those students’ parents.

Goodwill Industries has applied to open a charter school in Memphis aimed at helping people who have dropped out of school to earn a high school diploma, and, ideally, get on the road to postsecondary education and better jobs.

The schools, called Excel Centers, would use a model pioneered by the Indianapolis affiliate of Goodwill Industries — the organization mostly known as a place for donating second hand clothing. Excel Centers focus on dropout recovery, and serve students ranging from teens who have dropped out of school to adults with children and grandchildren of their own.

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