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LOCKE HIGH: Marching Towards Spring Break

Doubleturn I'm back out at Locke high school again for a few days, checking in on how things are going.  (I'm certainly not alone covering the story.  There's a New Yorker reporter who's been around, plus Howard Blume from the LA Times and others.)

It's nearly halfway through the second semester -- two weeks before spring break.  I can't tell you everything I've seen, but it's no secret that things continue to go well -- though not perfectly.  It's been that way for a while now.

Seniors who are on track to graduate got powder blue polo shirts (and the right to wear them instead of the usual uniform) that turned out to be highly coveted.  Kids are also finding out whether they passed the state graduation exam -- some have taken it several times in the past.  Administrators are planning like mad for next year, when some schools get bigger and others get smaller.  Teachers are holding on for dear life, or finding their groove, and trying to decide whether to come back or not. 

Over the weekend, I went out for drinks with one of the coaches.  I walked around the neighborhood and had carnitas and beer for breakfast with an administrator who used to go to the school when he was a kid.  I went to church with one of the deans, who takes a bunch of kids each Sunday (on his own dime).  Yesterday, I got a tour of the best hiding spots on campus from a senior who "used to be bad."  And I talked to some of the boys soccer team, who made it to the city final for the first time in a few years. 

My favorite place is the quad, which is leafy and quiet sometimes and noisy and boisterous when the students are around.  It's fascinating to see what's going on here, and to compare it to last year and to other turnaround efforts.  I don't know if I'll be up to the task of writing it up in an interesting and compelling way, but it's going to be a lot of fun trying.


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