CharterFolk provides a forum for the people who are the heart of the charter school movement. It is a place to convene, to improve our collective intuition about the path forward and to deepen our commitment both to one another and to our shared mission, which is to improve public education for absolutely all students and families in the United States. CharterFolk’ five essential goals are the following:
- To celebrate and help energize the incredible people who are doing stunning things to advance our nation’s charter school movement.
- To assemble and grow a self-sustaining community of people who identify themselves to be strongly committed to the success of the charter school movement.
- To grapple with the tough issues that face the movement by both positing coherent suggestions for the future while encouraging participation of many voices so that a wide range of opinion is surfaced and explored.
- To improve our collective readiness to respond to the range of challenges and opportunities that CharterFolk encounter on a regular basis.
- To contribute to improved decision-making happening in other organizations which will ultimately determine the path the charter school movement takes.
CharterFolk updates, which typically go out twice a week, are available only to subscribers. Occasional articles are posted on the Charterfolk website which are available to all.
With subscribers from as many states as we have charter laws, CharterFolk brings together people from all walks of our movement – educators, funders, community members, parents, alumni, support providers, advocacy partners and others.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
CharterFolk’s Board Members are as follows:
- Emilio Pack (Chair) – CEO Stem Prep, Los Angeles
- Kristen McCaw – CFO/COO Impact Public Schools, Seattle
- Kerry Flanagan – Currently on Sabbatical, San Diego
- Andrew Broy – CEO, Illinois Network of Charter Schools, Chicago
- Ramona Edelin – Sr. Advisor, DC Charter School Alliance, Washington DC
- Anna Hall – CEO, NorthEast Charter School Network, Albany
- Corri Ravare – CEO, Extera Public Schools, Los Angeles
- Carlos Marquez – Founder and Principal, CM3 Advocacy, Sacramento
- John Armbrust – CEO, Austin Achieves Public Schools, Austin
CharterFolk is written by me, Jed Wallace. All my life I have been deeply connected to the work of public education. Both my Mom and Dad spent their entire careers working in public education – my Mom as a teacher, my Dad as a school principal. I spent seven years teaching 5th grade at Hooper Avenue Elementary School in south Los Angeles. That is where I met my wife, who also comes from a family of educators. To this day, the majority of our closest friends are teachers and principals. After getting an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, I worked for two years in the Office of the Superintendent at the San Diego Unified School District. Among my responsibilities was serving as the staffer with lead responsibility over the district’s charter school authorizing activity. I then moved to High Tech High where I had the privilege of serving as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer during a period when it grew to operate multiple schools, began credentialing its own teachers, opened a graduate school of education and secured California’s first Statewide Benefit Charter. In 2009, I became the CEO of the California Charter Schools Association, where I worked for ten years. During my time there, charter school enrollment grew from approximately 275,000 students to 660,000 students, the overall sector’s academic performance improved significantly relative to traditional public schools, and the charter community grew considerable advocacy strength. Since leaving CCSA, I have been providing consulting services to advocacy organizations and other partners across the United States. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to serve on many boards including the National Alliance, the NACSA national advisory board, and the Fenton Avenue and Westlake charter school boards. In addition to my MBA, I received an undergraduate degree from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service and an MFA in Playwriting from UCLA. In my spare time, I have learned how to play the piano badly enough to irritate my two teenagers and their many friends who routinely sleep over and lament my early morning playing.
Diane Tavenner – Co-Founder & CEO, Summit Public Schools
Having had the chance to work closely with Jed over the years, I’ve seen him model for so many in our movement how to tackle the need for improved public education with relentless passion. On several occasions, Jed and I have talked about the critical need for more of us to make sure our stories are told and our voices are heard. I am very happy to see that, through CharterFolk, once again Jed is finding a way to model for us all.
Margaret Fortune – President and CEO, Fortune Schools
I wouldn’t be where I am, and Fortune Schools would not be where we are, without Jed having helped us along the way. Full stop. And the same is true for many other charter school organizations across the country. I know CharterFolk is just his latest effort to help propel us further on to even greater impact on behalf of kids and families, especially those who need us most. I’m thrilled to see him do it.
Mary Landrieu – Former U.S. Senator for Lousiana
I am proud to lend my support and voice to Jed’s new effort to focus more attention on the resources, strategies and skills that are needed to open up free quality public educational opportunities for all children, particularly children of color who are usually and unfairly the last in line to attend great schools.
Jose Salas – Executive Director and Principal, Montague Charter Academy
Jed has been driven by an urgent need to improve public education ever since I first met him more than 20 years ago teaching at Hooper Avenue. He’s always brought his all to everything he’s done whether it was teaching, helping build High Tech High or leading CCSA, and I’m excited to see him bring his all to CharterFolk as well.
Andrew Broy – President, Illinois Network of Charter Schools
Jed is recognized for the work he has done in California, but what I find equally impressive is his deep understanding of the national landscape. He brings as clear of ideas about what our movement needs as anyone I know, and I’m delighted that through the founding of CharterFolk he will contribute to discussions happening across the country about the new vision charter schools need to survive and thrive in the challenging years ahead.
Ramona Edelin – Senior Advisory, DC Charter School Alliance
Jed Wallace and I have known each other for years, and I deeply respect the work he did to advance and protect charter schools in California. More recently, I have had the chance to work with him quite closely, and I am greatly impressed by how his ideas for strengthening charter advocacy resonate in DC. It is particularly heartening to see how conscientiously he works to make sure that the views of the full diversity of our charter school community are taken into account. Count me among those who can’t wait to see what he does with CharterFolk!
Larry Rosenstock – Co-Founder and CEO, High Tech High
We always used to joke at High Tech High that we got at least three FTE’s out of Jed every day he worked for us. It’s great to see how in this next chapter of helping various organizations across the country, he’s also doing CharterFolk, showing that he we’re all getting more FTE’s out of the guy than seems humanly possible. I look forward to reading anything he writes.