Green Dots in LA and now in NYC

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Steve Barr has become a lightning rod for many in LA and now also in NYC (and here infecting UFT chief Randi Weingarten) as he works with the State University of New York to open up a Green Dot school in the South Bronx.

What union opponents (and it is not everyone) don’t seem to get about Green Dot schools is that the formula is very attractive to many teachers.  Especially younger teachers, many of whom would otherwise leave the teaching profession.

Attractive?  Why?  Site-based management means teachers and principals have authority over 80-90 cents of each budget dollar, over curricula, and over work rules.  As a result,  decisions are made closer to the student and are more relevant to student needs, so the work of the teacher becomes less bureaucratic and more meaningful (though, let’s be clear, sometimes with longer days).

All of the above is also true of site-based management reforms in Edmonton, Alberta and back home here in Barnstable, Mass. (see 1, 2, and 3), as well as charters and pilot schools.

Interesting item to look into: Green Dot is said to keep its admin expenses to 6 percent of its total operating budget for its network of schools, and so it pays thousands more annually to teachers, even though the schools receive less in per-pupil reimbursements.