In his June 5 column recounting when the good guys in education reform prevailed, the Denver Post‘s Vincent Carroll touted the Education Policy Center’s “painstakingly evenhanded” retelling of how Colorado’s 1993 Charter Schools Act — the third of its kind in the nation — came to be:
[Authors Pam Benigno and Kyle Morin] give credit to everyone from Democrats Roy Romer, Peggy Kerns and Barbara O’Brien (among others) to Republicans Bill Owens, Terry Considine, Jeanne Faatz (now a Denver councilwoman and a neglected hero in the choice movement) and Charles Froelicher, head of the Gates Foundation. And they’re so remarkably gentle with school choice opponents who managed to sabotage one bill after another beginning in the late 1980s that you aren’t even told who most of them are, assuming you couldn’t guess, until more than halfway through the tale.
On the Road of Innovation: Colorado’s Charter School Law Turns 20 by Benigno and Morin tells how the state’s 20-year-old Charter Schools Act resulted from the hard work and dedication of many parents, educators, and political leaders. In a 20-minute iVoices podcast interview, Benigno lays out some key points in the story and highlights the contributions of many key players.
“This paper provides the most comprehensive account of the people who worked to give life to independent public charter schools in Colorado,” said Jim Griffin, longtime executive director of the Colorado League of Charter Schools, who is also quoted in Carroll’s column. “It’s an enjoyable must-read for the state’s growing number of charter school parents, teachers, and leaders, that reminds us never to take our hard-earned freedoms for granted.”