A Promise Kept, A School Renewed: Locke High School’s Turn Around

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In 2006, Locke Senior High School was among the lowest performing schools in Los Angeles. Plagued by gang activities and low expectations for students, Locke was sending just 5% of its graduating students to 4-year colleges and universities.

That’s where the California-based nonprofit Green Dot came in. With the support of the community, Green Dot has implemented a school turnaround model focused on making sure students achieve academically and are ready for college and careers when they graduate from high school.

The change is visible throughout the school. Now, students are showing up for school on time. Class attendance has risen above 90 percent. Test scores have increased.

As a result of the model—and lots of hard work by teachers, students, and the community—the school is a far cry from what it used to be.

As Secretary Duncan has said, “Our communities need to be courageous in their desire to implement change. Only then will we be able to turnaround our nation’s failing schools.”

Watch the video of Locke’s story.

Click here for an accessible version of the video.

States can apply for Student Improvement Grants (SIG), which serves to support implementation of the fundamental changes needed to turn around some of the nation’s lowest-achieving schools. Learn more here: