“The Tipping Point” and Green Dot Public Schools

Case Solution

Victoria Chang, Debra Meyerson
Stanford Graduate School of Business ()

Green Dot was a self-governing organization (CMO) based in Los Angeles, California (L.A.), a city that was home to the second-largest school district in the country. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) was known for its predominantly ethnic student population (75 percent Hispanic and 11 percent African American) and numerous challenges ranging from poor performance to violence to low graduation rates. High school graduation rates in the district were just 45 percent (compared to 68 percent nationally), and Hispanic students earned just 39 percent graduation. Gary Orfield of the Harvard Civil Rights Project called the city’s high schools “drop factories.” By 2008, Green Dot had opened 12 charter high schools in some of Los Angeles’ most needy areas in hopes of demonstrating “that public schools can do a much better job of educating students when schools are managed in a much better way. more effective. ” Founder Steve Barr and his team had their own ideas about the tipping point and its metrics, both quantitatively (for example, when Barr and his Green Dot team worked on the opening of the new Locke School in the fall of 2008, Barr he was nervous and optimistic. He knew that the future of Los Angeles students, parents, and communities depended on the success of his team. He wondered if his new transformation strategy was the optimal strategy. He also wondered if thinking about the tipping point would give him and his team the best chance of success.

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