Giving Thanks

How nice to receive this note of gratitude from Nina Rees, CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools:

“Given my interest in education reform, I can’t help but be grateful for the visionaries who paved the way for the creation of charter schools. Unlike some ideas that take years to develop, theirs spread like wildfire – and did so without a central command post, a lofty lobbying budget, a strategic communications campaign, or a branded plan. They were driven by their desire to help students succeed – a desire that led them to imagine new ways of structuring everything from school governance to lesson plans.

And it worked.

We are now at a point where we can see the impact of charter schools on the 2.5 million students we serve and the thousands of leaders and teachers who run these schools. Many of these educators were attracted to charter schools because they believe in the power of education to help close the divide between the haves and have nots, the importance of a well-educated citizenry, and the desire to innovate while being held accountable for results.”

I want to build on Nina’s comments with a note of gratitude of my own.  Chartering would not be where it is today without each pioneer who stepped up from 1986 through 1991 to help make public school choice and chartering a reality.  These ordinary leaders took an extraordinary stand for change, together.  I am thankful for each of them.  And thank you to the millions of charteringpioneers who continue this important work today!

Chartering pioneers: 

*Ted Kolderie* Joe Nathan* Governor Rudy Perpich* Dan Loritz* Rep. Connie Levi* The Citizens League*Al Shanker*U.S. Senator David Durenberger* Jon Schroeder* Curtis Johnson* President Bill Clinton* Milo Cutter*Will Marshall* Al From* Rep. Becky Kelso* Rep. Ken Nelson* Sen. Ron Dicklich* Speaker Bob Vanasek* Senate Counsel Betsy Rice*Sen. Gen Olson* Rep. Charlie Weaver* Commissioner Tom Nelson*Sen. Sandra Pappas* Sen. Gary DeCramer* Sen. Greg Dahl*Sen. Randy Peterson*Eric Premack*

Thank you—and the work continues!  All of these pioneers are profiled or interviewed in my book, Zero Chance of Passage: The Pioneering Charter School Story.