Steve Barr, founder of Green Dot Public Schools, tells LA Weekly why billionaire Eli Broad just gave $10.5 million to open more Green Dot charter high schools in Los Angeles.
Barr answers without the slightest phony impulse toward humility: â€œOn graduation rates, on test scores, on teacher pay â€” on just about anything you associate with school reform â€” we have kicked the districtâ€™s butt. Thereâ€™s nobody in America who has taken the same kind of kids in the same kinds of areas and the same dollars and narrowed the achievement gap like we have.
Barr started six years ago with Animo Leadership Charter High School “with the aim of showing what he could do with $1,200 less per student than L.A. Unified and most big-city districts in California spend.”
So far, early returns from his 10 schools show a graduation rate double that of LAUSDâ€™s sad results. While the data is too new to be earth-shatteringly conclusive, he is nevertheless giving the keepers of public educationâ€™s keys cause to question the cityâ€™s own, staggering, 40 percent dropout rate among freshmen and sophomores.
Read the whole thing for Barr’s vividly expressed response to the head of the LA teachers’ union.