Marco Petruzzi is the CEO of Green Dot Public Schools, an operator of 18 charter schools in Los Angeles. During Petruzzi’s tenure, Green Dot won approval from the Los Angeles School Board to rejuvenate Locke High School in the low-income Watts neighborhood. It re-opened Locke in fall 2008, restructuring it into eight smaller, college-prep schools. By 2011, the school’s average academic performance index (API) score had increased 81 points, and the school is now retaining far more entering students than it did before the reopening—and graduating and sending them to college at a rate three to four times higher. In 2011, Green Dot also started the turnarounds of Jordan High School and Clay Middle School, two chronically underperforming schools.
As a charter management organization (CMO), Green Dot provides a world-class model for school and instructional leadership as well as an efficient central office to support its schools in areas such as accounting, human resources, knowledge management, information technology, and real estate development. The organization is unique among CMOs in the U.S. for employing unionized teachers and staff under reform contracts that are focused on what is good for students. Ultimately, Green Dot is committed to changing the landscape of public education in Los Angeles and beyond so that every child can go to a good school and be successful in college, leadership, and life.