Two years after Green Dot Public Schools took over low-performing Locke High School, test scores rose modestly from 13.7% to 14.9% proficient or advanced in English, and from 4% to 6.7% proficient or better in math, reports the LA Times.
Enrollment and attendance rates surged, even as enrollment has declined elsewhere.
Locke began last year with about 250 more students than in its final year under L.A. Unified. And Green Dot asserts that 95% remain enrolled; independent state figures are unavailable.
More Locke students are taking exams in courses required for admission to state four-year colleges. Last year, 785 more students took math tests, 894 more took science tests and 603 more took history tests. Also, Locke’s passing rate is up for the mandatory high school exit exam.
In Lessons from Locke, the Times gives Green Dot credit for admitting all students in the attendance area.
It rightly made reducing the dropout rate its first priority, and some of its lack of progress on test scores might in fact be the result of its success in keeping more troubled students in school.
But Green Dot needs to bring more Locke students to proficiency in the next few years to be considered a success, The Times editorializes.
Green Dot Public Schools billed the standardized test results as a dramatic improvement compared to years under district control. Looking at the percentage increase makes the numbers more impressive.