Turning Around Chronically Failing Schools | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Turning Around Chronically Failing Schools

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Ten of the D.C.'s 15 high schools have consistently failed to meet academic benchmarks. And this year organizations outside the District are helping turn some of the schools around.

For example, Friends of Bedford, which operates a public high school in Brooklyn, has taken over control of Coolidge and Dunbar senior high schools.

Steve Barr is the founder of Green Dot Public Schools that operates Locke High School in Los Angeles. He turned around a failing school from one where riot police had to be called after a fight and 75 percent of the freshman class didn't re-enroll, to one which is reportedly California's largest, by enrollment, and one of its most successful. More than 80 percent of Locke High School students go to college.

Steve Barr is in the preliminary stages of talking with D.C. officials about working in the District. He recently spoke with Kavitha Cardoza about why he embraces teachers unions, his plans in D.C. and about his success at Locke.

Kavitha Cardoza reports...

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