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Green Dot Founder Eyes D.C. Charters


From guest blogger Lesli Maxwell:

A few hours after U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called on the 3,300 charter school leaders gathered in Washington for their annual conference to help transform the nation’s 5,000 lowest-performing schools, Steve Barr, the founder of the Los Angeles-based Green Dot Public Schools shared a little about what role his charter management organization might play in that challenge.

Barr, who is in town for the conference, said he is talking with Chancellor Michelle Rhee about bringing his model for small high schools to the District of Columbia. He kept the details mum, but said a few D.C. high schools could undergo an overhaul similar to the one that Green Dot brought over the past school year to Locke High School, an enormous, long-suffering school in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. He hopes to visit some of the potential schools in the coming weeks. The goal, he said, would be to “create a model that Arne could use,” as an example for how to turn around the nation’s worst high schools, and one that, very strategically, would be in Congress’ back yard.


I hope this will not be the answer. We need a new way to reach our children and help them to become the leaders that we will need.

Why should this "not be the answer?" If things had been working well for the past 20 years we wouldn't need new reform ideas.

The bottom line of any ed reform is teachers and teacher education. Equity and access to an excellent teacher equals success. Charters, small schools and other current trends help to achieve this goal.

Don't forget, the Chancellor is already turning Anacostia SHS over to Friendship Public Charter Schools.

I'd also be curious about whether or not Green Dot has tried to break into the DC market before with normal charters...

Bear in mind that there are no results yet for Locke High School. Green Dot took it over as of fall '08; testing for the 08-09 school year took place in May '09; results won't be available till late summer. So based on that gauge, it's unknown whether the school is turning around or not.

I find myself agreeing 100% with the comments of Trish McCarthy, we need a program that will create leaders for the future.

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