Despite high crime rates, low expectations for student success, a significant suspension rate, and high teacher turnover, the principal of San Francisco's Visitacion Valley Middle School has transformed the school into a safe haven.

And what's most significant is that Principal James Dierke, a native of San Francisco, transformed the failing school from within traditional public school system.

Dierke is the subject of a short film called "Leadership Model for Urban Middle Schools." In the film, Dierke discusses how he was able to turn the failing school around.

The film is one of 12 in a film series called "A 21st Century Education,"


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