Green Dot Takeover

Glazer, Nathan. "Green Dot Takeover." Review of Stray Dogs, Saints, and Saviors: Fighting for the Soul of America's Toughest High School by Alexander Russo, Education Next, 2012.

Excerpt: Neither “stray dogs” nor “saints” play any role in Alexander Russo’s account of how Green Dot, a nonprofit organization that creates new charter high schools, managed to take over Locke High School in the Watts area of Los Angeles, and what it achieved in its first year managing it.

Stray dogs are occasionally found on Locke’s substantial campus, and the “Saints” are its athletic teams, which on occasion have had great success. Alain L. Locke High School was built after the Watts riots of 1965. It opened in 1967 and was part of a substantial effort to improve conditions in Watts. For some years it was the pride of the area. But it was an inner-city high school, initially primarily black, in later years increasingly Hispanic, with all the attributes common to such: poor scores on the various tests, district, state and national, that have come over the years to evaluate schools; poor attendance; low graduation rates; and serious student discipline problems.

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