L.A. turns over control of high school to charter group

Sept. 12, 2007
Green Dot will take over Locke High School in 2008.

The Los Angeles Board of Education has officially voted to turn over Locke High School, one of the city's most troubled campuses, to a charter school organization, marking the first time an outside group will run a traditional public school in Los Angeles. Leaders of the teachers union say they will file a grievance to block the transfer on grounds that the decision violates the teachers' labor agreement and state law. Green Dot Public Schools will take over Locke in the fall of 2008.
Click here to read The Los Angeles Times article.

EARLIER: The Los Angeles school board has signaled its intent to enter an agreement that would make Locke High School the first Los Angeles campus managed by an outside charter-school organization. The decision is controversial because numerous teachers withdrew their signatures from a petition calling for the conversion. (Los Angeles Times)

As Green Dot Public Schools, a charter school organization, fights to seize control of Locke Senior High in Los Angeles, educators and policy makers from Sacramento to Washington, D.C., are watching closely. Many believe Green Dot’s audacious tactics have the potential to strengthen and expand the charter school movement nationwide. The organization has founded 10 charter high schools and has won approval to open 10 more. (Los Angeles Times)

Teachers at Locke High School in Los Angeles have to decide whether it will become a charter school or stay under the auspices of the school district. A charter group, Green Dot Public Schools, announced earlier this year that a majority of Locke's tenured teachers had signed petitions in support of a Green Dot takeover, clearing the major legal barrier to converting the campus into several independent schools. After several teachers rescinded their signatures, saying they were confused about the takeover proposal, district officials threw out the formal takeover plan submitted by Green Dot. Recent days, however, have brought a shift in direction as a new school board majority allied with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has taken control. (Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles school district officials have rejected plans by a leading charter group to take over one of the city's most troubled public schools. Last month, Green Dot Public Schools announced that it had collected "signatures of interest" from a majority of the tenured teachers at Locke High School, clearing the major legal hurdle toward converting the campus into a series of charter schools. But Los Angeles Unified School District officials have thrown out the formal takeover plan submitted by Green Dot on grounds that the group no longer has the support of a majority of the teachers. Many faculty members have rescinded their signatures, district officials say, because of confusion over the proposed takeover. (Los Angeles Times)

In response to a surprise plan launched by a leading charter school organization to take control of one of Los Angeles' most troubled high schools, school district and teacher union officials are trying to counter with reform plans of their own. Leaders from the district and the union will meet with the faculty of Locke High School in an effort to persuade teachers to consider other options to the takeover proposed by Green Dot Public Schools. (Los Angeles Times)

A leading charter school organization is poised to wrest control of a failing Los Angeles high school from the Los Angeles Unified School District. Green Dot Public Schools, which has clashed frequently with the board in its aggressive push to expand, has quietly overseen the collection of signatures of support from a majority of the tenured teachers at Locke High School—clearing the major legal hurdle toward converting the campus into a series of charter schools. Locke Principal Frank Wells was escorted off campus and relieved of his duties earlier this week as the district looks into allegations that he allowed teachers to leave their classrooms to collect and sign petitions. (Los Angeles Times)

After rejecting plans last month by a leading charter organization to reform one of the city's worst high schools, a divided Los Angeles school board has reversed itself. It has given Green Dot Public Schools permission to open charter schools near Locke High in South Los Angeles in the fall of 2008, a year later than the company had sought. Critics contended that the March 29 rejection of Green Dot's proposal violated state laws that spell out when a board can deny a charter application. Many said the board was obstructing reform at one of the district's schools that need it most. Board member Jon Lauritzen, who opposed the proposal last month, called for a reconsideration of the vote and succeeded in overturning the decision. (Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles school board has failed to approve the expansion plans of one of the city's leading charter school operators. The action probably violates state law and firmly sets back future collaboration between the charter group and the school district. The board's 3-3 vote defeated Green Dot Public Schools' application for eight new charters. The group had planned to use several of the charter licenses to open new schools this fall in the city's Watts neighborhood. The board's seventh member, David Tokofsky, recused himself because he works for Green Dot. (Los Angeles Times)

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