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The Charter School Wars

Insight from a Charter School Innovator

Thomas Lubben

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.

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Chapter Eleven: The Allentown Adventure

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Chapter Eleven

The Allentown Adventure

A—The Allentown Phone Call

Just four months after the Middle School was in operation (December 2012), I received a telephone call from the secretary of the Allentown School District Superintendent. She indicated that Superintendent Russ Mayo wanted to sit down and talk to me in January. I quickly agreed and then wondered what it could be about. I knew he was facing a charter school request from a Muslim Cleric whom I had refused to work with. I thought he might be asking some advice in that area.

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