Seth Andrew, the founder of Democracy Prepatory Charter School in Harlem, has been in the news a lot recently. It’s easy to see why:

Andrews, 31, founded Democracy Prep which now operates six campuses in Harlem that has used the Korean model of education to boost the achievements of students in one of New York’s poorest neighborhoods. Democracy Prep, which uses a lottery-based admission system and offers free tuition, gets over 5,000 applications each year.

“The belief that you can do better” is the philosophy that drives Andrews’ school. But the inspiration to follow the Korean model came from the respect he felt after spending a half year teaching English a decade ago at Dong-sung Middle School in rural Cheonan in South Chungcheong province. The attitude he observed in the principal and faculty of that school left a deep impression on Andrews.

Personally, I’m a bit skeptical about the potential of the Korean educational system to change American schools.

Not because I lack faith in the Korean educational system, mind you.

I just lack faith in American students.

Still, Mr. Andrew’s school seems to be doing well, and I wish him the best of luck.

Check out the videos here and here.

(HT to reader)