2018 Hall of Fame honorees announced as week-long celebrations kick off
Washington, D.C. – The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (National Alliance) joins families, schools, and communities across the country in celebrating National Charter Schools Week, May 7-11, 2018. As part of its week-long celebrations, the National Alliance will shine a spotlight on public charter school achievements by honoring the school leaders, teachers, elected officials, advocates, students and alumni who have made charter schools possible and successful.
To kick off the week, the National Alliance announced schools founders and leaders from three charter school networks as the 2018 National Charter Schools Hall of Fame honorees:
- Camino Nuevo Charter Academy: Ana Ponce, CEO
- IDEA Public Schools: Jo Ann Gama, Co-Founder, President and Superintendent, Tom Torkelson, CEO and Founder
- Yu Ying Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.: Maquita Alexander, Head of School
“Camino Nuevo, IDEA, and Yu Ying represent the breadth of charter school innovation and depth of school leadership from coast to coast,” said Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance. “This diverse group of leaders demonstrates that regardless of a school’s management structure or network status, or the background of their student bodies, a relentless focus on student success can lead to incredible results. We are thrilled to recognize these educators and their contributions to empowering students by providing high-quality public school options.”
Camino Nuevo is a small network of charter schools, IDEA Public Schools is a larger Charter Management Organization, and Yu Ying is a single-site charter school.
The National Charter Schools Hall of Fame was established to recognize individuals and organizations who have had a profound and lasting impact on the charter school movement. Honorees will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame at the 2018 National Charter School Conference (NCSC18) in Austin, Texas in June. The four 2018 honorees will join 35 esteemed inductees since the Hall of Fame’s inception in 2007. Learn more about the 2018 inductees and past inductees on our website. Register for NCSC18 at ncsc.publiccharters.org.
Other National Charter School Week celebrations this week include:
Tuesday, May 8: National Teacher Appreciation Day
Join us on social as we celebrate the incredible teachers making an impact every day in the lives on students. #ThankATeacher #CharterSchoolsWeek and Sydney Chaffee joins the Charter Blog as a guest author, reflecting on her year as the first charter school National Teacher of the Year.
Wednesday, May 9: Charter Champions Event Honors Federal, State, and Local Elected Officials.
Following the decade-long tradition, 20 leaders from all levels and branches of government will be recognized for their efforts to provide better educational options for the families they represent.
Thursday, May 10: Spotlight on Advocacy
Read along as National School Choice Week founder and CEO Andrew Campanella shares his thoughts on how awareness weeks like National Charter Schools Week are so important to building the groundswell of everyday advocacy for access to great public school options.
Friday, May 11: Spotlight on Students and Alumni
Join us on Instagram and the Charter blog as we turn over the reins to the students and alumni who are the next generation of change makers.
This year marks the 18th year of National Charter Schools Week, which was first declared under President Clinton. In declaring National Charter Schools Week, President Trump says in this year’s proclamation, “This week, we acknowledge the critical role charter schools play in providing students with rigorous education that holds them to high standards. A great education is the foundation for a better future for students facing the demands and challenges of the 21st century. As a Nation, we should continue to support and address their dreams in their innovative efforts to help students reach their full potential.”
About Charter Schools
Charter schools are independently-run, tuition-free public schools that are open to all students. Founded more than 25 years ago, they are operated independent of the traditional school district but in addition to the being held to the same accountability standards as all public schools, charter schools have performance targets that they must meet in order to stay open. With more autonomy to provide flexibility to school leaders and teachers, charter schools generate innovative and individualized-learning environments that meet the unique needs of their school community and foster student achievement.
Numerous independent research studies have found that students in charter schools do better than their district school peers. The Center for Research on Educational Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low-income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center for Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college, and have higher earnings in early adulthood.
About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit www.publiccharters.org.