Friday, July 01, 2011

NAPCS conf in Atlanta this week

I just got back from Atlanta yesterday, where I attended the first day of the annual conference of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (, on whose board I sit.  It was amazing and inspirational to be around 4,000+ charter school champions from around the country and I wish I could have stayed longer.  At the end of this email are pics from the opening general session (plus two of me and my girls from Father's Day, when we went to Six Flags), which included speeches by Peter Groff, President of the NAPCS, Eva Moskowitz, Cory Booker and Bill Clinton.  Here are links to the videos I took:


- Eva:

- Cory: (second half only – sorry!)

- Bill Clinton – part 1:

Part 2: (for some reason, this wouldn't upload to YouTube, so you have to download the file by clicking this link; there's a nice plug for KIPP at 8:20)

Part 3:

Part 4:


The much higher quality video of the entire opening session is at:


Here's a summary from The Center for Education Reform:

CHARTER CONFAB. Atlanta has been a maze of meetings, networking, shared ideas and challenges. The annual charter conference, now brought to you by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, has seen thousands of leaders, activists, schoolers and others find, more than anything else, comfort and strength in each other. Civil rights leader and veteran reformer Howard Fuller encouraged us to be vigilant: "When you hug one another, please pass on some anger," he said. "Our kids are literally dying out there and being cheated." "Education IS Political," said NYC's Eva Moskowitz, reminding the crowd that political action is essential. There was back patting for jobs well done in the past year (Maine) and some praise despite backsliding (North Carolina). Georgia took center stage, with its charter law ruled by the court as unconstitutional, which is an injustice for all and in need of a good bill to fix it. While most participants currently face few of these major statewide challenges, they loom nonetheless. Kudos to those gathered and those who lead for reminding us all that great schools are at the heart of the American dream. For more, see and follow us on twitter@edreform.

Shout out to CER Board member Donald Hense who just got inducted into the National Alliance of Public Charter School's Hall of Fame, which recognizes individuals and organizations who have brilliantly carried the banner for charter schools. Visit the National Alliance's site soon to see a tribute to the 2011 winners.

Congratulations, also, to BASIS Tucson, a charter school, that was just ranked as the #3 high school in the country by Newsweek.

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