People who know me know that I love my job. Last week a charter school Principal introduced me to someone as a "charter school fanatic." One of the best parts of my job is interacting with the charter school administrators and board members. It just doesn't get any better!
Yesterday and today I got to spend quite a bit of time with folks from charter schools who are doing amazing things for kids. It's exciting to hear people talk about what they're doing with individual students who were otherwise falling through the cracks or hear the enthusiasm people have for their work because they know they're making a difference in kids' lives.
I've heard general public ed folks say charter school leaders are invigorating. They are. They're excited about seeing test scores rise because their program is working, or because a family appreciates a quality education after years of languishing in the charter school's lottery pool. Teachers are excited when they get an idea for how to help the student who is struggling in class and hasn't responded to the typical differentiated instruction. Board members are excited when what was once only their "dream" suddenly has 4-5 times more students than what they can enroll, entering into the enrollment lottery.
I'm appreciating charter school leaders even more now that I've just attended my last Parent Teacher conference at my daughter's district-operated high school. The stark contrast between educators who genuinely strive to increase the amount students learn each day and those that simply put in the time (and maybe should have chosen another profession) is amazing. Because my view of education is dominated by excellence, sometimes it's good to be reminded of the reason charter schools were created and continue to have strong demand as evidenced by long waiting lists and consumer need.