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The extraordinary accomplishments of the teachers, school leaders, and students featured here are a great start, but they cannot be the end of the story. I am not satisfied with just talking about top-performing charters as islands of educational excellence. If no man is an island, no school should be either. The question I ask — and that I encourage all educators who read this book to ask — is: Why can’t success be the norm?

I look forward to seeing how outstanding charter schools advance education in the next 25 years. But most of all, I look forward to the day when educational islands of excellence become districts and even states of excellence. I believe it’s possible. I know it’s needed.

    An Oral History