I was intrigued by this article in the WaPo today, which says that the founder of Green Dot charter schools, Steve Barr, was in DC to meet with Michelle Rhee to discuss running one or more DCPS High Schools. I've read about Green Dot before (there was a great article in the New Yorker, but you can only see it if you register), but only in the national news, which has a tendency to gloss over some things. It sounds as though this organization has done a great job turning around Locke High School in L.A., but, as the article mentions, the test scores are not yet in.
Green Dot does some interesting stuff. They take over larger failing schools and break them up into smaller and more manageable academies. Its founder, Steve Barr, is by all accounts kind of insane -- he once called the L.A. Union leader a "pig fucker." And yet they work with unionized teachers -- a real rarity among charters.
What really intrigued me is how Green Dot forcibly took over Locke High School -- without approval from the school district. Essentially, as a result of a California law, a school can divorce itself from the district if there is enough support from teachers and community members. This is what happened at Locke. Not bad, if you ask me. Why don't we have a law like that? How many of us wish we could divorce our schools from the preposterous stupidity that is DCPS?
8 hours ago