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Examining Specialization: Charter Schools

The one-size-fits-all system is evolving into individually tailored education

by Dr. Rod Berger

The following interview is part of a series of discussions I conducted on the Financial Health of the U.S. Education System. The idea spawned from conversations I had with Jess Gartner, CEO and founder of Allovue, a noted connector in the space bringing voices in financial management together. During last summer’s Future of Education Finance Summit, Gartner popularized the term #EdfinTech and it has been gaining steam ever since.

Finance In Education: Lisa Graham Keegan, of The Keegan Company

As we continue our look at the financial health of the education system in the United States, I reached out to noted charter school advocate, Lisa Graham Keegan to get her take on the sensitive subject. Charter schools are a hot-button topic in a lot of communities, often because parents and other interested parties are not comfortable with making such a drastic change to the education system they’ve always known.

Lisa makes the point that charter schools are simply a matter of specialization in education and something that is inevitably overdue. She talks about the evolution of the one-size-fits-all model that we currently use for our education system, and makes the case that tailoring education to individual students is a better way to go. It’s an uphill battle in getting people who are comfortable with one way of education to buy into a new way of teaching that is unfamiliar.

Lisa speaks from a center of experience that includes top positions as Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction and Chair of the Education Committee during two terms in the Arizona House of Representatives. To find out more about Lisa Graham Keegan visit The Keegan Company and watch the video interview above.

About Lisa Graham Keegan

Lisa Graham Keegan has spent 12 years as Principal Partner at the Keegan Company, where she leads numerous projects, writes, and speaks on critical issues and emerging excellence in American education. Keegan’s expertise and outspoken nature have made her a sought after education reform expert who has worked with national education leaders, the media, U.S. Congress, state legislative bodies, business groups, policy organizations, community groups, and the education industry.

She currently serves as a Senior Advisor to National School Choice Week, an annual public awareness campaign to advance excellent choices in education; and as Executive Director of A for Arizona, a joint project of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and the Tucson Hispanic Chamber that seeks to accelerate the number of A quality public charter and public district schools in Arizona.

Mrs. Keegan spent a decade from 1991 – 2001 serving as an Arizona state official, fighting successfully for the implementation of school choice, including Arizona’s landmark charter school and tuition tax credit laws. She gained a national reputation as a strong advocate for student-based education policies. She has been an education advisor to John McCain and was a candidate for Secretary of Education under George W. Bush.

Lisa Graham Keegan holds a B.A. from Stanford University and a Masters degree from Arizona State University. She is the author of Simple Choices: Thoughts on choosing environments that support who your child is meant to be.

Follow Lisa Graham Keegan on Twitter

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