No miracle at Locke

One year after low-performing Locke High was taken over by Green Dot, the school’s scores remain low. On the plus side, 38 percent more students took the state exam, notes a Los Angeles Times editorial. More kids are in school; truancy and campus crime rates are way down.

. . . by enrolling all the students within its attendance boundaries — including the perpetual truants, gangbangers and likely dropouts along with the honors students — Locke accepted the same challenges faced by L.A.’s more troubled public schools.

Green Dot and other successful charter operators should stick to what they do best — starting new schools —  writes Andy Smarick on Flypaper.

I think it’s too soon to give up on the Locke turnaround: It will take more than a year to make a difference in achievement for students who fell way, way behind long before Green Dot took over the high school. But if next year’s ninth and 10th graders show no improvement . . .

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  1. For a great observation of what they’re dealing with at Locke, read Dana Foote’s Relentless Pursuit: A Year in the Trenches with Teach for America. The TFAers in Foote’s book are assigned to Locke.

  2. OMG. Seriously? I mean, seriously? People are expecting a complete turnaround in ONE year? You have got to be kidding. I have no bias for or against Green Dot, but it is far, far too soon to be expecting changes in test scores. Measure effectiveness by testing the current 9th graders as seniors. Reducing crime and truancy are major initiatives and not by-the-way achievements.