Doris Kearns Goodwin, Jack Abramoff, and Me???

Yes! All of us were presenters at the Legislative Summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) in Chicago last week, and all of us signed our books. I also found Marc Tucker’s presentation Surpassing Shanghai an eye-opening comparison on how public education systems globally compare with ours. The conference was a great chance to network with policymakers and legislative staff from around the country. The international delegates were also interested in how chartering came to be–many countries are experimenting with similar structures.

During the conference, I connected with my long-time friend, Peggy Kerns, who was the Democratic Minority Leader of the Colorado House of Representatives in 1993 when she championed their first chartered school bill into law. She also has a great pioneering charter school story to tell and I hope she writes it some day. Peggy is now with the Ethics Center at NCSL.

Upon return, I was pleased to be part of the 4th annual Charter School Law Conference at the University of St. Thomas with my keynote address: “Reclaiming the Origins of Chartered Schools.” This was a great professional development conference for Minnesota chartered school leaders focusing on legal issues around special education, human resources, nonprofit organizations, and other areas. Many thanks to Friends of Education which generously provided all attendees with a copy of my book, Zero Chance of Passage; and thanks to the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools and Innovative Special Education Services for hosting a successful conference!