A master's-degree program blends courses in education and business to prepare leaders for the entrepreneurial world of charter schooling.
Verree D. Laughlin wants to launch a network of small, community-oriented charter schools, starting with one near the Mexican border in Yuma, Ariz. Katheryn Crayton-Shay recently took the reins of a beleaguered Hawaii charter school that she’s struggling to get back on its feet. Jason Guerrero is working to replicate a Pueblo, Colo., charter school with new campuses across the state.
All three are part of a relatively new breed: public education entrepreneurs. They’re also students in a master’s-degree program specially designed for their ilk. The Leadership for Educational Entrepreneurs, or LEE, program, housed at the west campus of Arizona State University in Phoenix, and financed under a federal grant, blends coursework from the education and business schools and targets those in the charter school arena.
The three students—or protégés, as they’re called—gathered here along with 20 others this month for a week of classes, forums, outings, and lots of bonding. Since much of the program is run online, they won’t all see one another again until June, when they’ll spend...
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