Founder, Chairman, CEO, – Future Is Now Schools
Founder, Green Dot Public Schools
Steve Barr founded Green Dot Public Schools in 1999 with the vision of transforming secondary education in California by creating a number of high-performing charter high schools using available public dollars. Under Steve’s leadership, Green Dot became the leading change agent in the region, starting in fall 2000 by founding one of the first comprehensive public high schools in the Los Angeles area in thirty years. In 2008, Green Dot began to operate Alain LeRoy Locke High School in Watts, re-structuring it into eight small public schools. In 2010, Barr formed Future Is Now Schools, to take the foundational principles learned and successes achieved on the local level of Southern California and expanded this base to other communities around the country. Future Is Now Schools has already begun discussions with community leaders in some of America’s largest cities, bringing together all education stakeholders, including parents, teacher unions and district education officials.
Green Dot Public School’s leadership in pushing for improved public education led the Los Angeles Times to name Steve in 2006 as one of 100 most influential people in Southern California. Steve is also an appointee to the State Board of Education Advisory Commission on Charter Schools, where he provides policy recommendations to the State Board of Education on charter school-related issues.
Prior to founding Green Dot, Steve held a number of leadership positions in political and social service organizations. In 1990, Steve co-founded Rock the Vote, the preeminent youth voter registration and engagement organization in America. The Rock the Vote campaigns and field efforts led the way in the first upward surge in 18-24 year old in voting since the passage of the 26th Amendment. Following Rock the Vote, Steve led the successful efforts to pass the Motor Voter Bill, which was signed into law in 1994 by President Clinton. Thirty million Americans have registered to vote via Motor Voter.
Steve hosted President Clinton’s National Service Inaugural event, which led to the creation of Americorps. He then oversaw an Americorps after-school program project in South Central and East Los Angeles that focused on helping single mothers transition off of welfare.
Steve has been active in politics throughout his professional career, serving several presidential campaigns and as a finance chair for the Democratic Party. Additionally, Steve has helped drive political change through television, as a national correspondent on the nationally syndicated Disney-produced “The Crusaders”, as a contributor to Discovery Channel’s “Why Things Are?”, and as a writer in national magazines such as George. Steve authored “The Flame: An Unlikely Patriot Finds a Country to Love” (Morrow, 1987).
Steve has attended and spoken at some of the most prestigious education and thought leadership conferences in the country, including TED Conference, Excellence in Education Conference, League of Education Voters, Harvard Business School, Harvard Graduate School of Education and Teach for America 20th Anniversary Conference.