As a third generation boilermaker and a carpenter, I had the good fortune to be able to support my family in the building trades as I pursued my advanced degrees in the education field.
As all good tradesmen know, understanding the buildout for your own function, as well as meshing with the other trades on a site, is critical for a great result-no matter what the project.
Studying education at the doctorate level was definitely a unique school experience for me, because I kept waiting for the flow of ideas from coursework that would show how to create a public school system driven by sutent needs - it never really materialized as the national agenda to prepare all students to graduate high school at 18 and go to college dominated education until the time of charter schools.
In my roles in Arizona as a Principal on an Indian reservation and a school district Superintendent, I watched so many students fail and drop out. It was often because they were poor and had to work; they got pregnant and had no one to care for a baby during a school day; they were behind in math or reading and felt they could never catch up.
Try though I might, there was no fixing these issues within the confines of the traditional public schools. But it was the late 1990’s, Arizona had passed a Charter School Law in 1995, and I began to sketch out what a new blueprint for high school education might look like if it were designed away from the bureaucracy, from scratch.
Now I had developed a blueprint of what the promise of education really should be, given the obstacles I had watched students face in traditional schools for years. Fortunately, I knew just the person I was sure could execute a financially sustainable plan and make the blueprint a reality. Then together we could honestly make the vow to: