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ERIC Number: ED536075
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun
Pages: 44
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Charting New Territory: Tapping Charter Schools to Turn around the Nation's Dropout Factories
Lazarin, Melissa
Center for American Progress
Only a quarter of the class of 2008 graduated from Alain Locke Senior High School in Los Angeles after four years. This was unsurprising since nearly 60 percent of the class had left Locke by the end of their sophomore year. A majority of Locke teachers--frustrated with the school's mediocrity--petitioned to allow charter management organization Green Dot Public Schools to transform the school. Locke reopened its doors in the fall with new landscaping, new teachers, a series of new small schools within the school, and new expectations. Two years into the transformation, a record 73 percent of sophomore students were still there at the end of the year. Green Dot Public Schools's transformation of Locke is one of the most notable examples of a charter management organization, or CMO, turning around a chronically underperforming traditional public school. And the Obama administration would like to see more of it. This policy paper explores the role of charter schools in turning around the nation's lowest-performing high schools. Based on conversations with charter school operators, school district staff, researchers, and education reform experts, it examines how some pioneering cities--Los Angeles and Philadelphia in particular--are partnering with local charter operators to turn around some of their dropout factories and improve college readiness and graduation rates. The paper explores barriers and opportunities for collaboration between charter management organizations and districts to turn around high schools. It finds that the extent to which districts have access to CMOs in their area, the degree of expertise that CMOs have in targeting secondary schools, and factors affecting the charter sector's growth all have some influence on the likelihood of success from these partnerships. (Contains 91 endnotes.) [For related report, "Review of Charting New Territory," see ED523958.]
Center for American Progress. 1333 H Street NW 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-682-1611; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
Authoring Institution: Center for American Progress
Identifiers - Location: Arizona; California; District of Columbia; Illinois; Louisiana; New York; Ohio; Pennsylvania; Texas