Stray Dogs, Saints, and Saviors: Fighting for the Soul of America's Toughest High School
April 2011, Jossey-Bass
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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.
- Offers an in-depth look at a school "turnaround" effort that garnered a blizzard of publicity
- Russo's blog This Week in Education was named by The Washington Post as one of its best education blogs of 2010
- Tells the gritty truth about the tough work of true school reform
Locke's transformation shows that with hard work and sacrifice, broken schools can indeed be improved in meaningful ways. However, the process of school reform is one of the most vital, and least glamorous, projects that we can participate in.