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NEWSWIRE: June 28, 2016 — What’s next for Charter Schools?

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We’re on the ground in Nashville, TN this week at the National Charter Schools Conference, and from panel discussions to side conversations the message for a New Opportunity Agenda is clear:  Charter schools must get back to their roots of being innovative learning opportunities for children.

QUOTABLE. A few of the best remarks overheard so far at #NCSC16:

If we have the courage to bring down Jim Crow laws then we should have the same courage to change education. The problem I have with the edreform movement is that we’re too soft. We will fight until hell freezes over, and then we will fight on the ice.Roland Martin

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We must not only remember where we have been, but UNDERSTAND where we’ve been. We have to understand and remember the bigger idea of why charter schools exist and were created in the first place.  — Howard Fuller

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Charter schools are kind of like Snoop Dogg. Nobody ever thought he’d be mainstream.  Now charter schools are mainstream. But we have to go back to selling mix tapes out of the back of a car.  — Howard Fuller

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THE FIRST LAW. As we celebrate the nation’s first charter school law created in Minnesota 25 years ago, Joe Nathan with the Center for School Change reminds us of the simple yet compelling five-page law that allowed for opportunities for charter schools to flourish.

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CHARTERS AS INNOVATION. Ted Kolderie, author of “The Split Screen Strategy: Improvement + Innovation” and one of the founding fathers of edreform, reminded us that charter schools were founded with the intention of being something totally different from traditional district schools. Charters were to have freedom in exchange for accountability, in order to get to the end goal of radically improving children’s lives. But now, charter schools are dangerously close to becoming the very thing they sought to change. “Regulation is at odds with radical change,” reflected Kolderie. And that’s precisely why many gathered yesterday to discuss how to get back on track an edreform movement that’s lost steam, so that all of our nation’s children can access excellent education opportunities.

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