President Obama on National Charter School Week

As a Nation, we share a responsibility to provide our children with a world-class education.

Alas, it turns out this is hard to do. Depending on who you ask, the average charter in the nation is about....average. (Boston's generally good. Detroit's generally bad.)

By keeping our young people engaged in learning, we help them develop the skills and values that will not only guide them in life, but also prepare them to thrive in the global economy.

Values like scrubbing Facebook profile of most pictures involving binge drinking. Also perseverance.

For years, charter schools have brought new ideas to the work of educating our sons and daughters.

Except for Orin's son and daughter. Sorry bro.

Whether created by parents and teachers or community and civic leaders,

Or by unshaven public policy grad students

charter schools serve as incubators of innovation in neighborhoods across our country.

Of course sometimes the "innovation" is finding an ingenious way to get kids to do math homework

This unique flexibility is matched by strong accountability and high standards, so underperforming charter schools can be closed,

can be, and a few in Massachusetts were in fact closed, but others survived for political reasons

while those that consistently help students succeed can serve as models of reform for other public schools.

Except that these good ones tend to be very labor intensive and violate some conventional beliefs about the proper role of the teacher, so the models can replicate but do not usually change existing schools

Our children only get one chance at an education, and charter schools demonstrate what is possible when States, communities, teachers, parents, and students work together.

Amen. In all seriousness, Obama's push for charters led directly to a new law here in Massachusetts in 2010, which in turn led to the 2011 opening of some stellar new schools in Boston, including: this one, this one, this one, and ours.

By the way, this last photo is from our middle school math teacher Tara. She took some kids to the Sox game over break, nominally teaching a stats unit, but also for some quality time.

Thanks to our friends at Achievement First, who gave me a stipend to talk to their swell leadership fellows, which I then re-gifted for some teacher stuff. That the $ ultimately ends up in the pocket of billionaire Sox owner John Henry causes me some distress, but oh well.