My son's last day of a four year contract with the Marine Corps is today. So this opinion piece on how charter schools are like the Marine Corps caught my eye. http://leeculpepper.com/
To carry the metaphor further, opening a charter school could be compared to boot camp. Some people decide the work is too much for them during this phase while others step up and become leaders. Boot camp is a refining period and only the most hardy make it to graduation. Opening a new charter school is also a refining period and the ultimate reward is the first day of school. There's nothing like seeing the excitement in a 5 year-old's face to make all the time and effort needed to open a charter school worthwhile.
Operating a charter school requires the discipline Marines exercise every day. Charter school staff must have the discipline and intensity to focus solely on kids getting smarter. Teachers cannot be distracted from their mission or it's the people they serve who stand to lose the most.
Marines are focused on accomplishing their mission and making sure no one gets left behind. Marines go into battle knowing they will give it their all in order to accomplish their mission. I've seen similar dedication in the many unsung heroes who work in charter schools. They care so strongly about their mission that things like personal time and resources aren't important. Further, their work is done together. Teachers and administration work together to make sure ALL students are learning.
Dr. Terrence Moore, the high school principal at Ridgeview Classical Schools, is a former Marine. When he spoke to his graduating seniors last May at their commencement program, it was evident that he accomplished his mission with those Seniors. It was also very clear that he had "fought the battle" alongside his students--his mission included making sure all of his students were prepared to go on to higher education. He accomplished his mission.