"The lowest-performing, based on test scores, is the large Green Dot chain." — Los Angeles Times
Green Dot Corporation Cheerleader Alexander Russo handles softball questions from KPCC's Madeleine Brand in a recent radio interview, where Brand is mildly skeptical, but Russo gushes about his favorite privatization pushers and poverty pimps. The real story regarding the hostile takeover of Alain Leroy Locke High School reads much different than Russo's account. If anybody were to subpoena former Locke principal Frank Wells, and force him to answer questions about his participation, and possible payola involving the takeover, there'd be scandal of epic proportions.
Back to the exaggerated reports of the supposed Locke "turnaround." Astute readers will remember how Green Dot Corporation has used an additional $15 million from plutocrat donors to "turn the school around." This is documented in the New York Times' "School Is Turned Around, but Cost Gives Pause." If public schools had access to those kind of additional funds and resources, who knows what progress could be made. At the very least, there wouldn't have been "counseling out" of the most vulnerable students.
Moreover Locke, like every other Green Dot school, sports some of the worst remediation rates in LAUSD. Green Dot's teaching to the test to boost their APIs and graduating students not proficient is exposed, in full, when we look at how Locke's students do on the proficiency exams entering college. For Fall 2010 Locke Senior High Admissions into the California State University system: 88% were NOT proficient in mathematics and an astonishing 98% were NOT proficient in English. So much for Green Dot Public [sic] Schools' Locke miracle: they get millions in extra funding, weed out most of their students with disabilities and students with disciplinary problems, but still only manage to get two percent of their students ready for college level English. What do they have to offer again? I suppose it's making Marco Petruzzi rich to the tune of nearly a quarter million dollars a year,  and that's the point of privatized charter schools to begin with, right?
 According to their 2009 Form 990, Part VII Sec. Aaa, Marco Petruzzi pulls down a whopping $215,742 in base pay alone.
* Yes the title of this article is a parody on Alexander Russo's new book.
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