National Alliance for Public Charter Schools awards education pioneer for contributions to Colorado and national charter sector
Washington, D.C. – The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) today announced that Jim Griffin, President of the Colorado League of Charter Schools, will be inducted this week into the Charter Schools Hall of Fame for his contributions to the national charter school movement. In particular, Griffin is being honored for his work establishing the Colorado League of Charter Schools as a strong model for state charter school support organizations across the country.
Colorado has been at the forefront of the national charter school movement since 1993, when its charter law was first enacted. Early on, Griffin launched the nation’s first comprehensive state association in the League, which for nearly 20 years has led the Colorado charter movement. He has worked with legislators and key stakeholder to develop solutions ranging from facilities financing to state accountability systems, and school support efforts including legal advocacy, new school development, group purchasing, and performance management. As a result, Colorado’s charter effort continues to thrive by any number of measures – school quality, growth and stability. Today, over 78,000 students attend 174 charter schools in Colorado. This amounts to about 10 percent of total public school enrollment in the state – one of the highest in the nation.
Griffin has also contributed substantially to charter efforts across the country, playing a key role in helping other state associations adopt best practices developed by the League. He also played an integral role in starting the NAPCS and providing critical support to charter efforts in other states. Griffin’s leadership has also helped the movement address the issue of quality in the nation’s charter schools.
“Jim has worked tirelessly for the thousands of Colorado families who have demanded and chosen a better education for their children,” said Nina Rees, CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “Colorado has been on the forefront of our nation’s charter school movement and has provided other states with examples of how strong policies and effective leadership can have a positive impact on kids. The 20th anniversary of the charter school movement is a particularly appropriate time to honor people like Jim who share in our vision to improve public education and drive the charter movement forward.”
“It’s an honor to be included in the same group as some of the bold pioneers and risk takers who have been able to take a simple idea and turn it into a movement that is now benefitting millions of students,” said Griffin. “It’s simply amazing to think through the challenges faced by the charter community and how far we’ve come over the past 20 years, but it’s ever important that we press on to realize the promise of our public school system.”
As the public charter school movement celebrates 20 years since the first charter school opened in Minnesota, Griffin will be inducted along with three key Minnesota education leaders in this year’s Hall of Fame. The four 2012 inductees will join an exclusive club of 16 other members who have been honored over the last five years since the Charter Schools Hall of Fame was established. This honor recognizes individuals and organizations for their contributions in the following areas: pioneering efforts in the development and growth of charter schools; commitment and contributions to charter schools and education; innovative ideas and successful implementation of those ideas; and inspiration to others in the charter school movement.
The four new inductees will be honored on June 20 at the 2012 National Charter Schools Conference in Minneapolis, MN. The conference will bring together thousands of charter leaders, teachers, advocates, policy makers and education reformers to share innovative ideas and be inspired by some of the brightest minds in education, public policy, business and philanthropy.
The conference will include sessions on how charter schools can continue to transform education, address state and policy issues affecting the sector and celebrate the innovative milestones in the charter movement. Additional presenters and participants include: Tony Miller (Deputy Secretary COO, U.S. Department of Education), Howard Fuller (Institute for the Transformation of Learning, Marquette University), Ember Reichgott Junge (former State Senator, Minnesota), Don Shalvey (Deputy Director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), John Merrow (Learning Matters, Inc.), and John Danner (CEO of Rocketship Education). A complete overview of the entire week’s activities can be found at http://www.publiccharters.org/Conference.
About the National Alliance
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the 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 our website at www.publiccharters.org.