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Watch: As America’s Charter Schools Turn 30, Bill Clinton and an Expert Panel Reflect on the History (and Future) of Education Reform

June 16, 2021

It’s been three decades since Minnesota created the nation’s first charter school law, and since then, tens of thousands of families have taken advantage of the choice opportunities that charter schools have offered. To mark the anniversary, The 74 partnered with the Progressive Policy Institute on June 16 for a special panel discussion, “Charter Schools at 30,” assessing the movement, and the moment.

The session featured Myrna Castrejón, president of the California Charter Schools Association; Karega Rausch, president and CEO of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers; Ember Reichgott Junge, the former Minnesota state senator who introduced that first charter bill; and Paul G. Vallas, founder of the Vallas Group.

Tressa Pankovits, co-director of Reinventing America’s Schools at PPI, moderated the conversation, which began with an introductory message from former President Bill Clinton, who authorized the federal Charter Schools Program three years after the Minnesota bill became law.

Some recent charter school coverage from The 74’s archive:

— 30 Years Later: Chester Finn & Bruno Manno on looking back — and ahead — at the charter school movement (Read more)

— College Success: Data show charter students graduating from college at three to five times national average (Read more)

— ROI: Analysis shows charters yield 53% greater return on investment (Read more)