Green Dot: An Encouraging Proof Point

Good news for turnaround supporters this week. A major study by UCLA’s National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST) found that Green Dot’s turnaround approach is yielding encouraging gains in student achievement: test scores, graduation rates, course-taking, persistence, and college-readiness. Almost twice as many Green Dot students were considered ready for college than their peers in the comparison group.

Green Dot took over chronically failing Locke High School in Los Angeles and converted it into eight smaller college-prep schools, starting in Fall 2007. Green Dot students were compared to students from the same feeder middle schools over the past four years.

Students in “cohort 2,” who started as 9th graders in 2008-09, did even better than those who started in 2007-08, when Locke’s approach hadn’t been fully implemented.

Green Dot’s six basic tenets track closely with our theory of action, notably its insistence on local control and flexible operating conditions, focus on building new capacity, and accountability. Green Dot CEO Marco Petruzzi’s March 23 blog details their approach.

Green Dot press release here, Ed Week here, LA Times here, and Fast Company here.