First, teachers at Locke High School in Los Angeles petitioned to turn their troubled school into a Green Dot charter school. Now teachers at two other high schools in Los Angeles Unified are talking to Green Dot founder Steve Barr about leaving the district to join his charter network.
Teachers at Santee Education Complex, a gang-ridden school with very low test scores, and Taft High, a diverse campus with average scores, said they’re frustrated by the district’s inability to change.
“With what happened at Locke, we’ve entered into a new chapter. They’ve instigated reform that all these district hot shots either are unable or unwilling to make happen,” said Santee English teacher Jordan Henry, who arranged the meeting with Barr.
Teachers like the fact that Green Dot spends 90 percent of funds on instruction.
“The increased autonomy is very attractive, and the money too,” said Richard Gibbons, a veteran government teacher at Taft. “We’re frustrated by the district and its bureaucracy. People are eager to try something different. We have to do something.”
Gibbons and Henry, who set up the Green Dot meetings, are the reps at their schools for the teachers union, United Teachers Los Angeles. Green Dot has its own union, which is not affiliated with UTLA.
Barr says teachers at six other schools have contacted him since the Locke teachers asked to go charter.
Charter Blog thinks this could signify urban school systems have reached a tipping point.