A graduating high school senior and his father celebrate the students’ accomplishment at Hillcrest High School in Memphis, TN.

By Chad Soleo, CEO Green Dot Public Schools

Last week, I had the privilege of helping my wife memorialize her grandmother, who had lived with our family for the past eight years. I have been reflecting on the significance of my own life and the purpose with which I approach leading in my home and leading in my workplace. Grandma’s legacy was so evidently present in the family she established and deeply present in the relationships she invested in — both personally and professionally through her life from the Great Depression right into 2021.

Our legacies — personal and organizational…


United Parents and Students works to empower low-income communities to become powerful self-advocates for sustainable neighborhood revitalization. UPAS chapters are located in Los Angeles, CA, Memphis, TN, and South King County, WA.

By Larry Fondation, Executive Director of United Parents & Students

As the tragic year of 2020 thankfully passes into history, progressives in America look to a new landscape of racial, economic, and social justice and equity that we can help to forge.

Scientists around the world beat every record to invent a vaccination in record time to halt the paralysis yoked upon us by the coronavirus pandemic. We support the federal bailout of our schools, and of state and local governments, which face unprecedented economic shortfalls. Some of us also look towards what Franklin Delano Roosevelt called the “Great Compression,”…


By Larry Fondation, Executive Director of United Parents & Students

Over the past couple of months, I have been walking under a looming cloud of despair. In this nation, the land of the free, we have fought for so much together: Universal freedom of expression, equal access to opportunity and education, and sweeping anti-discrimination laws. Yet, I find myself shaken to the core by the Movement rising in response to ongoing police violence and systemic racism.

My television, social media feeds, and day-to-day conversations are riddled with shots fired. Shots fired by law enforcement during the unjust murders of Jacob…


By Chad Soleo, Chief Executive Officer of Green Dot Public Schools

COVID-19 and the protocols and policies that stemmed from the growing realities of pandemic life demanded that schools nationwide change our prevailing instructional delivery methodology overnight. Take this in: we all changed an educational model that’s been widely employed since the early 19th century — in a matter of weeks. We will certainly learn a lot about online learning, but it will be at the expense of quality instruction and ultimately, children’s learning today — especially those who find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide. And…


Over the last several months, we’ve begun to understand in the starkest terms the gaping disparities among victims of the novel coronavirus and the vicious disease it causes, COVID-19. African Americans, including in Los Angeles County, are being disproportionately devastated by this disease, with death rates running far higher than among other racial and ethnic groups. Across the country, the greatest number of coronavirus cases are in communities of color — among black, Latino and Asian Americans.

We all know the virus doesn’t discriminate — but the lasting legacy of structural, societal racism does. Where in the past its effects…


By Chad Soleo, Chief Executive Officer of Green Dot Public Schools

As an educator, I work in pursuit of a better education system that serves all children, ultimately ensuring that a great education is the means by which every child can live a full life enriched by choice and opportunity in America. It’s a privileged way to characterize my career, I realize, and while it may seem overearnest and maybe even naive, it is authentically why I feel called to work in public education. I’ve had to confront that narrative, this week, more than most.

I’ve been troubled before by…


By Larry Fondation, Executive Director of United Parents and Students

Each year, United Parents and Students (UPAS), in conjunction with Green Dot Public Schools, proudly holds an Annual Assembly — gathering parents, students, educators, community members, and elected officials. This year’s Assembly took place at the University of Southern California’s Bovard Auditorium. We gathered not only to address issues beyond the classroom that affect students’ ability to succeed inside the classroom, but also to challenge issues that inhibit local quality of life as a whole.

Since 2014, UPAS and Green Dot have worked together to engage families in local activism…


By Chad Soleo, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Green Dot Public Schools

This month, California released its first list of schools who are subject to comprehensive or targeted school improvement as required under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The list relied on data from the past two years as reported in the California School Dashboard, which provides a color grade for several key school performance categories (i.e. state testing, absenteeism) based on a combination of proficiency and how student performance increased or decreased from the students in the prior year. Unfortunately, the Dashboard does not include student growth…


By Chad Soleo, Chief Executive Officer (Interim) & Chief Operating Officer of Green Dot Public Schools

Entering the public education sphere is akin to walking into a crowded school cafeteria — dozens of different conversations are taking place at once, some of them related and others wholly distinct, some groups interacting, and others separated out. Take a step back, and it’s nearly impossible to pick out a specific issue from the din.

Each of these conversations are critical in their own way — how charter public schools exist next to traditional, the merits of STEM education, the role of technology…


By Walter Chen, Principal of RVLA Middle School & Arneidra Lloyd, Principal of RVLA High School

October is National Principal’s Month, and Rainier Valley Leadership Academy’s two leaders — Principal Arneidra Lloyd (RVLA High School) and Principal Walter Chen (RVLA Middle School) — took the time to reflect on what it means to truly do right by our kids. After recent SBAC scores showed continued achievement gaps throughout the state of Washington — with charter public schools serving as one of the few areas of progress — Principals Lloyd and Chen thought about what educators and communities can do to…

Green Dot Public Schools

Our mission is to help transform public education so ALL students graduate prepared for college, leadership and life. Join us!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store