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 Four: The Interlude (1996–2002)
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The Interlude (1996–2002)
A—Escape into the Arts
At this point, I was fifty-eight years old and reasonably desperate to once again become a “bread-winner.” I had been living off my wife’s income for too long. (Tough on the male ego!) So I began to search for other work opportunities. I had been actively seeking other avenues of expression and activity since this project began. The presentation before the Senate committee in 1996 had sparked an interest in me to begin to explore the arts more directly myself. During this “interlude” period, I began to involve myself in music, theatre, and dance.
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