About Us

Green Dot Public Schools is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help transform public education so ALL students graduate prepared for college, leadership and life.

Unique in the nation for a major non-profit charter management organization, Green Dot is proving it can achieve better student outcomes with the same student population, lower per pupil funding than the district and a unionized workforce across our schools in Los Angeles.

The U.S. Department of Education has featured Green Dot as a national leader in school turnarounds.

Green Dot's History

Green Dot Public Schools was founded in 1999 in direct response to the poor state of public high schools in the Los Angeles area. Traditional high schools were not graduating over 50% of their students, and those that were making it through were rarely prepared for college. The vast majority of the students failing out of the system were children from low-income families. Green Dot had a vision of creating small, successful public schools and in doing so, demonstrating to the school district and the public-at-large that there was a more effective way to provide public education in low-income and and historically underserved areas. 

In August 2000, Green Dot opened its doors with just one 9th grade class of 140 students. Today, our organization has successfully grown to serve more than 14,000 students in communities across Los Angeles, CA, Texas, and Memphis, TN. 

Founding Five. Between 2000 and 2005, Green Dot opened five start-up independent charter high schools in some of the toughest neighborhoods in Los Angeles. All five went on to be named in Newsweek’s annual ranking of the best high schools in the country and were medal winners in the annual U.S. News and World Report list, placing them in the top 2.5% nationally.

The U.S. Department of Education has featured Green Dot as a national leader in school turnarounds. Green Dot schools have been featured in “America’s Best High Schools” by Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, and elsewhere. 


Leader in School Turnarounds

Locke Transformation. In 2008, Green Dot expanded its approach to focus on turning around chronically, low-performing schools and took on the transformation of Locke High School. Locke was 15 times the size of our usual charter school launch and one of the worst high schools in California. Despite these difficulties, under Green Dot management, Locke has made great strides with a recent UCLA CRESST study demonstrating that Green Dot students attending Locke are 1.5x more likely to graduate and 3.7x more likely to graduate college-ready than students attending peer neighborhood schools.

Clay & Jordan Transformations. In 2011, Green Dot further solidified its position as a turnaround operator with the Jordan High School (Ánimo College Preparatory Academy) and Henry Clay Middle School (Ánimo Phillis Wheatley and Ánimo Western) transformations. With Jordan and Clay, Green Dot assumed full transformations with an aggregate of more than 1,500 students in a single year. After a single year of operating under Green Dot, both schools have achieved measurable gains with the 2011-2012 API score for Ánimo College Preparatory Academy on the Jordan campus increasing 12 points and the overall API scores for Ánimo Phillis Wheatley and Ánimo Western increasing 74 points.

In June 2013, Green Dot received authorization from the Achievement School District to turn around several middle and high schools in Memphis starting August 2014, when it reopened Fairley High School. In August 2015, Green Dot reopened Wooddale Middle School as its first transformation middle school in Memphis, followed by Hillcrest High School and Kirby Middle School., and Destiny Middle School in Tacoma. 

By 2020, Green Dot had opened several new schools in Inglewood, CA, Compton, CA, and Memphis, TN. For the 2021-22 school year, Green Dot--invited to partner with Beaumont Independent School District--will lead Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Beaumont, TX.

Who We Serve

Green Dot works with families and communities in historically underserved communities to demand better school options for their students. We strive to serve students who may fall through the cracks in the traditional school system – both in terms of academic preparation and the need for academic acceleration.

Our students’ demographics mirror the traditional districts that we serve.