Charter Schools Are Making Progress In LA

Joanne Jacobs reports that Locke High school in Los Angeles, one of the worst high schools in the country, will be broken into 10 small Green Dot charter schools. More on the great news here.

Important points of note:

Board chair Monica Garcia later pointed out that LA Unified spends $7.7 billion a year and graduates only 40 to 50 percent of students.

In some ways, Jefferson and Santee are more pressing cases that Locke. Certainly, Locke is a perennial low scorer in the district (of the 1318 ninth-graders that enrolled at Locke in the fall of 2001, only a terrifyingly low 332 managed to actually graduate in spring, 2005. And only 143 of those getting diplomas had the right credits to apply for admission to the University of California and/or California State University systems). Sadly, however, Santee and Jefferson’s scores — and graduation rates — are worse.

Green Dot, on the other hand, graduates on average of 80 percent of its 9th graders and nearly all have the necessary A-G credits to apply to a state-run college or university. Moreover, the Green Dot schools run on a comparative shoestring and, both Jefferson and Locke have been recipients of some of the district’s biggest influxes of money.

The Gates Foundation will give Green Dot $7.9 million to create new charter schools in Los Angeles, which should help with the Locke conversion.

The LA Times has more.

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