OKLAHOMA CITY -- Hundreds of students are focusing on math and science at a metro school as they prepare for college. Those students go to Dove Science Academy in Oklahoma City, which has just been recognized by Business Week as the best school in Oklahoma.
It's the best school in Oklahoma, and the best low income school in the state. Nearly all of the students qualify for a free or reduced school lunch. And the academic record is impeccable.
Students at Dove Science Academy are extremely focused. The publicly funded, privately run charter school is all about college prep and 100 percent of last year's students were accepted to college.
"It's a very international feeling to this school as well," Dean of Students Marc Julian said. "We have teachers and administrators from all over the world here, so we don't just want our students to stay here."
Foreign language classes are popular at Dove.
"Eventually I want to be an ambassador because I'm studying Turkish here at Dove, and I want to put that to good use," 11-grader Mariel Colbert said.
The kids are driven to be the very best.
"We make robots using a Lego Mindstorm Zanax T format," sixth-grader Noah Cordova said. "There's a competition this year we're trying to get into."
This year's valedictorian, Jason Lugo, plans to attend OU in the fall.
"Eventually I would like to launch myself into national politics, and who knows, maybe the first Hispanic president of the U.S.," 12-grader Lugo said. "If Barack Obama can do it, I'm pretty sure anybody else can do it."
After several years of strict academic study, the Dove Science Academy has finally been nationally recognized for achievement. Administrators say the feeling of success is catching on.
"The students are finally starting to believe that they can do it, that the program does work and that if they listen to their teachers and listen to their administrators, that they will see that same success, and that's a really good feeling," Julian said.
Parents say the teachers are responsible for much of the success of the students. Teacher salaries are based on merit, not a pay scale.