If in preparation for celebrating our nation's declaration of independence—and by the way, for the record, the actual Declaration of Independence is a suggested text in the Common Core, as are many of our founding documents—you missed the thirteenth annual National Charter Schools Conference, here are twelve key takeaways (and only a handful of Fordham plugs and shout-outs):
1. From panels, to keynote speakers, to just plain old networking, everyone was citing the latest CREDO study, but Andy Smarick's take—as well as Adam Emerson's challenge to charter advocates—go in-depth on what the findings mean.
2. Pitbull—yes, a hip-hop artist gave a keynote address bright and early on Monday (How many people had even had their coffee?). For the best take on his speech, check out The Washington Post's Reliable Source.
3. The Walton Family Foundation was inducted into the Alliance's Hall of Fame for its tireless work in improving education and the school-choice movement (they have invested more than $1 billion in education*). The only question is why this recognition didn’t come earlier.
4. Howard Fuller, for many, represents what the charter school movement is all about. He calls it as he sees it—and this year it's about doing diversity instead of talking about doing diversity.
5. The Common Core: Craig Barrett asked when conservatives stopped supporting high standards (bingo and bingo), Michael Lomax thinks it's ridiculous that Arne Duncan can't praise the Common Core, and charter school leaders and teachers clearly...