No Right Brain Left Behind and Green Dot Schools
Over the past 12 years, Green Dot has grown from a single 9th grade class of 140 students in Inglewood to serve 10,300 at-risk students in 18 schools across Los Angeles, half of them turnarounds of LAUSD’s lowest-performing schools. 90% of students graduate with 76% going on to attend college. Green Dot’s dramatic expansion has been fueled by a commitment to ‘doing what it takes’ to break down the barriers that pre … Read More
Over the past 12 years, Green Dot has grown from a single 9th grade class of 140 students in Inglewood to serve 10,300 at-risk students in 18 schools across Los Angeles, half of them turnarounds of LAUSD’s lowest-performing schools. 90% of students graduate with 76% going on to attend college. Green Dot’s dramatic expansion has been fueled by a commitment to ‘doing what it takes’ to break down the barriers that prevent students from thriving. Our first five schools were located throughout Los Angeles, with an emphasis on diverse neighborhoods that were underserved by traditional public schools. In 2012, those schools scored an average 764 on the Academic Performance Index (API), California’s primary measure of accountability; higher than both district and state averages. The schools are among the highest performing ‘minority’ schools in California.
In 2008, in collaboration with teachers and the community, Green Dot won control of Alain Leroy Locke High School, one of the lowest-achieving schools in the nation. Four years into the transformation, the Locke schools scored over 600 API compared to a pre-transformation score of 511. In 2010, Green Dot launched a new strategy to address the chronic attainment levels of incoming 9th graders through the opening of high-quality middle schools, two the result of a takeover of Henry Clay Middle School, ranked as the worst middle school in California. Concurrently, LAUSD invited us to take over David Starr Jordan High School, located in the heart of the Jordan Downs housing project in Watts. Early indicators suggest that students at these schools are already experiencing significant gains under the Green Dot model.
Joining Green Dot, No Right Brain Left Behind brings expertise in design-centered problem solving. NRBLB started a movement in 2011 that highlighted the wide-scale concerns for the country’s creativity crisis and the desire to find solutions. During a seven day innovation challenge, NRBLB asked the best in the creative industries to develop ‘creativity generators’ to be used in the classroom. Renowned innovators and experts including Sir Ken Robinson, Yves Behar, Daniel Pink, Deepak Chopra, and Scott Belsky joined the cause. Over 150 world-class companies such as Frog Design, BBDO, Wolff Olins, and Saatchi&Saatchi developed over 300 concepts. The winning concept received in-company funding to bring their concept to action.
NRBLB has been awarded accolades by Core77Design and The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce; presented at events such as TEDx, Art Directors Club, and LiveWire; and been featured in FastCompany, GOOD Magazine, Core77, BrainPickings, Design Mind, and Art Rebels. To date, NRBLB has built a strong coalition of companies, design schools, education networks, and creative professionals able to develop scalable, low-cost, and adoptable innovation tools that enhance creativity inside and outside of classrooms.