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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 Fourteen: Lessons Learned: A Charter School Primer

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Chapter Fourteen

Lessons Learned

A Charter School Primer

The purpose of this section is to try to succinctly identify twelve major areas that one needs to seriously consider in the planning of any charter school. Keep in mind that the author has fully worked on seven different models over a twenty-year period. This intends to be a brief, but expanded “check-list” of the areas that founders and operators must contend with. Also, please note that the first five areas must be complete rather simultaneously before you can submit a charter!

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