The Graphic Pioneering Charter School Story

Nothing tells a story better than pictures.

That’s why I was fascinated as Graphic Facilitator Brandy Agerbeck of drew the Pioneering Charter School Story in real time as I shared it with the senior leader attendees of the Edison Leadership Development Academy in Chicago, Illinois on October 15, 2014.

Just look at how she built the story around my theme:  Charter School leaders are Transformational Leaders

The graphic
begins with City Academy—the first charter school opened in 1992, led by educators transforming the lives of students and launching a national movement.  They were ordinary people like you and me taking an extraordinary stand for change.   And they rode on the shoulders of a group of community leaders who were willing to buck the status quo, working for a  form of public school choice supported by 70% of Americans today.

The evolving graphic shows the struggle.  And it was intense!  Chartering passed by only three votes, even after compromises so drastic that supporters thought a charter school would never succeed.  But supporters persisted.  Chartering granted choices:  permission for groups other than a school district to provide public education.   In return for autonomy and independence, charter school leaders commit to performance accountability—more accountability than in district schools.

The finished graphic  is a call for all chartering leaders to share the story, and lead from their chair every single day both as an inspiring educator and as a messenger to debunk the myths of chartering.   Together, let’s live by Stephen Covey’s 8th habit for highly successful people:  making a passionate, significant contribution and creating greatness.   It’s about reaching for greatness in ourselves and inspiring greatness in those we lead and those we teach. Thank youBrandy, for capturing the transformation that I hope every charter school leader will model!