Students’ STAAR success = one shaved head for YMCPA teacher

Adrian Acosta

Adrian Acosta has been challenging his biology classes at Young Men’s Preparatory Academy for years with a singular offer: if 25 percent or more of them earn “commended” status on the annual state-mandated assessment test, he will shave his head.

Until now, he has never had to make good on that promise, but on May 29, Acosta closed his eyes, sat in a chair, and handed the clippers to a student, after learning that 14 of his students—or a whopping 41 percent of his biology class—had held up their end of the bargain.

“Every year, I offer my students the bet,” Acosta explained. “And they usually come close—like 21 or 22 percent—but never actually get it. This year, they almost doubled it, so I had to do it.”

Acosta, now in his fourth year of teaching, attributes his students’ success to the online tutorials he began offering this year.

“The percentage level has never been this high,” he said, “so it was totally worth it. It just goes to show, it’s not about what kind of kids you get to teach, it’s about how you teach them.”

Learn more about Acosta by watching his presentation at this year’s State of the Schools luncheon.