Sunday, May 15, 2011

Alexander Russo on Charters, Unions, and School Turnarounds

Alexander Russo, author of the fabulous new book on Green Dot's turnaround of LA's notorious Locke High School, Stray Dogs, Saints, and Saviors: Fighting for the Soul of America's Toughest High School (, will be speaking in NYC at 7pm on Monday.  The event is hosted by the DL21C – here's the link to RSVP: and here is the link on Facebook:


(For more on what I've written about Locke and Russo's book, see:, and



Monday, May 9

7:00 pm

Alexander Russo on Charters, Unions, and School Turnarounds

How One Charter Network Tried to Fix a Broken High School -- and Almost Broke Itself

Milux Cafe

482 Broome Street at Wooster Street (Close to A/C/E/N/R/6 trains)

RSVP Here!

Join DL21C Monday, May 9th for a discussion with Alexander Russo on issues surrounding charter schools, teacher unions, the state of education reform and his new book Stray Dogs, Saints, and Saviors (reviews below).

Excerpt from "Gripping Saga in a Bad School" by Jay Mathews (Washington Post) on Stray Dogs, Saints, and Saviors :  " I am probably the nation's most devoted reader of real-life high school reform drama, an overlooked literary genre. If there were a Pulitzer Prize in this category, Alexander Russo's new book on the remaking of Locke High in Los Angeles would win. It is a must-read, nerve-jangling thrill ride, at least for those of us who love tales of teachers and students."  (

Free for members; $5 non-members.

About Alexander Russo

A former teacher and US Senate education aide, Alexander Russo is an education writer whose work has appeared in Slate, Miller-McCune, The Washington Monthly, City Limits, the Huffington Post, National Review, and Washington Post. He is the creator of two education blogs, "This Week In Education" (named one of its best education blogs of 2010 by the Washington Post) and "District 299: The Chicago Schools Blog" (named one of the best blogs in the city by Chicago Magazine). He's also appeared on several national radio shows (Bloomberg Radio, NPR's On The Media, On Point, and The Merrow Report) as well as numerous local TV and radio shows

About the Book

Stray Dogs, Saints, and Saviors tells the real-life story of Locke High School. Locke High– originally known for its excellence–became one of the toughest, most dysfunctional schools in the nation. Then in 2007 teachers voted to bring in an upstart charter school organization called Green Dot to try and restore the Locke Saints' past glory. It was a brave and desperate move. Working in secrecy, the school principal, a small group of teachers, and Green Dot's charismatic founder, Steve Barr, convince Locke teachers to support a petition that will take the school away from the Los Angeles Unified School District. The "new" Locke opened in the fall of 2008.

Reviews of Book and Interviews with Alexander Russo

Heartland Institute podcast 4/26

Interview with Alexander Russo Education Next Book Club 4/11

What Can We Learn from Charter Schools? Pacifica Radio interview 3/25

Green Dot Charter Leadership Changes New York Times mention 3/25

A New Look At Locke Scholastic Administrator excerpt Spring

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