Parents weren’t exactly clamoring to get their children into the Gavin Middle School in South Boston. Test results were grim: Only 1 in 4 Gavin students scored proficient or advanced in math on the 2011 MCAS. Fewer than a third cleared that bar on the English test. Superintendent Carol Johnson threw up all the cards at the struggling Gavin, turning it into one of the city’s first in-district charter schools. The Gavin became UP Academy. And UP Academy became spectacular.
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