The School of Education is sponsoring “Charter School Policies and Leadership: Shaping the Next 20 Years", a leadership conference recognizing the 20th anniversary of the charter school movement. A distinguished group of national and local charter school representatives has been invited to the July event to assess the impact of these increasingly popular non-traditional public schools. Since the first charter school opened in Minnesota in 1992, the number of schools has grown to over 5,000 in 41 states. Nationwide, more than 2 million students attend charter schools and another 600,000 are on waiting lists . The two-day event will be held on July 24 and 25, on The Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus.
On day one of the conference, a number of nationally prominent representatives, including Michael J. Connelly, CEO of Mosaica Education, Inc., and Ember Reichgott Junge , the state senate author of the legislation setting up the first school in 1992, will discuss what we have learned about charters and where we would like the movement to be in 2032. Maryland State Senator and SOE alum, Bill Ferguson, will participate in the discussion. Moderators for the various discussion groups include SOE Dean David Andrews, SOE Visiting Fellow Peter Groff and Henry Smith, Executive Director of the Office of Partnerships in Educational Transformation.
On day two, SOE has invited local charter school leaders to discuss their operations and the role of the university in addressing their professional development needs. Peter Groff will lead a discussion on School Culture and also the Business of Charters. The conference will end with Senator Junge talking about Autonomy and Accountability: Lessons Learned and Challenges Moving Forward. Junge recently published a book on her experience in passing the initial legislation in 1991 establishing the first school – Zero Chance of Passage: The Pioneering Charter School Story.
Additionally, in recognition of the 20th anniversary, the school kicked-off a four part lecture series in February on charter school management issues for local school operators. Last year, the school appointed two Visiting Fellows who have extensive experience working with charters. Peter Groff is the former president and CEO of the National Alliance of Charters Schools. Julie Mikuta, who is a partner with the New School Venture Fund, helped establish the DC’s SEED Charter School and served on the DC Public Charter School Board.