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Green Dot seeks to open additional High School in Inglewood

Green Dot schools are seeking to add another high school in the city of Inglewood.  Green Dot is the brainchild of former Los Angeles mayoral candidate Steve Barr.  After reading a scathing dossier printed in the Los Angeles Times, the article included a map of schools that were failing.  Barr tells 2 Urban Girls “they (LAT) identified under performing schools by labeling them with a “green dot and they were all located along the 110/105 freeways”.  This birthed Green Dot.  2 Urban Girls was eager to speak with Mr. Barr as to why he started the schools and more importantly, how are they helping ALL of Inglewood’s students.  

Steve Barr founded the school with the assistance of three Inglewood Unified principals.  Nancy Ichinaga (Bennett-Kew), Marge Thompson (Kelso) and Dr. Lawrence Freeman (Inglewood).  This author’s educational foundation was under the tutelage of Mrs. Ichinaga and my K&1st grade teacher Sandra Schieldge.  My first year of high school was under Dr. Freeman.

Attending K-3 at Bennett, prior to the school becoming Bennett-Kew, I was introduced to reading, algebraic equations, problem solving and critical thinking.  Something as basic as raising your hand, to identify our favorite fruit, taught me how to anaylyze data, learn differences (math) and make recommendations.  Mrs. Schieldge was ahead of her time. I learned all of the above as a kindergartener.

Related: Decade of Decline: Inglewood Unified

Back then Inglewood Unified had a strong G.A.T.E. program, that I participated in.  Unfortunately, once you leave elementary school, there is nothing to bridge the gap for smart students before reaching AP classes in high school.  That problem STILL persists three decades after I graduated elementary school in 1985.

Smart students get the shaft in Inglewood Unified.  That’s part of why my father pulled me out after 9th grade.  He instead paid for me to attend St. Michael’s and became VP of PTA all three years I attended.  I continued to excel for my father maintained an active role in my education and in close contact with my teachers.  I asked him would he have been as active if I stayed in Inglewood Unified.  He gave me the “STFU” look.

Dr. Matthews was quite direct when he shared  with 2 Urban Girls his concern for the Animo location not having higher numbers of Black students in attendance.

When Steve Barr first approached IUSD to create a charter, IUSD responded by creating City Honors.  The school has fallen far from it.

Related:  What’s going on inside Inglewood’s City Honors High School

They no longer offer students the ability to attend college classes, in conjunction with El Camino, and I can recall sitting in school board meetings where the board squabbled over not wanting to pay for the books.  The arrangement was cancelled under Dr. Brann and the charter was taken away too.

As the chair of School Site council, I cringe at the data showing students attending an “honors” academy, are at a 1st and 2nd grade math level. Yes, despite asking students to have a 3.0 to enter the school, they are at an elementary math level.  All of the additional Title I funds goes to kids who are underachieving, and therefore students who are excelling, are being left behind.

Related:  Inglewood’s City Honors is a mess

A flyer is being passed through the community stating Green Dot is seeking to “takeover” Morningside High School.  Nothing in the application supports this.

IUSD school board member Dr. D’artagnan Scorza, an alumni of Morningside High shares with 2 Urban Girls that Inglewood Unified is on the rise and hopes the community continues to support the district and reject attempts to destroy their progress.

The numbers show that its the Latino’s who are rejecting IUSD.  Animo Inglewood serves 11% Black students and 87% Latino’s.  Students come from the following zip codes: 90301, 90302, 90303, 90305 and 90047.

As Inglewood Unified continues to rebound under the direction of Dr. Matthews, many in the community believe the district should be dismantled and resurrect as an elementary district only.  That’s the only thing IUSD is good for.

Animo Inglewood was denied their petition and are now on LACOE”s agenda for approval.  Here is a copy of the letter Dr. Cristina de Jesus sent to Dr. Matthews after being denied.

2 Urban Girls reached out to LACOE board member Alex Johnson who tells us petitions are weighted based on the petitioners ability to demonstrate student success.

Inglewood Unified has already demonstrated that they are neither innovative nor addressing the needs of students who are achieving as opposed to being a district that only caters underachievers post 6th grade.  2 Urban Girls supports their petition and hopes LACOE does too.

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2 Urban Girls has been cited in City Watch LA, Compton Herald, Daily News, Inglewood Today, Intersections South LA, KCRW, KPCC, Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, LA Watts Times, Mercury News and The Atlantic.

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