Insight from a Charter School Innovator
Educational reform has been a topic of scholarly conversation for a long time, but little significant movement toward action has been made. Charter schools were discussed in varied forms throughout the 1980s, but it was not until 1991 that the State of Minnesota put charter school law into practice. Thomas Lubben entered the charter school world in 1996 when the State of Pennsylvania was in the process of discussing its law that was passed the same year. The Charter School Wars closely follows the personal life of a lifelong educator as he negotiated the political and personal steps involved in creating a school from nothing. The first several chapters focus on the obstacles and pitfalls that the author faced during the seven-year struggle to create a charter high school based on the creative and performing arts. Later chapters focus on the expansion of this proven artistic model into additional schools. Lubben compliments the personal narrative with a chapter, "A Charter School Primer," that focuses on the critical elements needed to open a charter school. Charter school parents, teachers, administrators, and enthusiasts will find this book an interesting and poignant read as they navigate their way through the charter school landscape.
Chapter One: Renegade Training
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A—The Formative Years
A renegade is defined as either (1) a deserted from one faith, cause, or allegiance to another or (2) an individual who rejects lawful or conventional behavior. I guess “deserter” and “unconventionalist” better define me! How did a nondescript, somewhat nerdy person who emerged as a nonconventional deserter from the arena of traditional public education?
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