Charter Schools are Changing the Educational Conversation

Jonathan K. Hage comes from a long and distinguished line of educators. His mother and father were both public school teachers, and in their house, public education was perceived as a great equalizer across society.

As the founder, chairman, president and CEO of Charter Schools USA, Inc. Jonathan Hage has seen the long evolution in charter school programs. In 1988 none other than the president of the American Federation of Teachers Albert Shanker came out in support of what he termed “Schools of Choice.” The first charter school opened in Minnesota three years later, and the modern notion of private charter schools was born.

While charter schools are still subject to fewer rules, regulations and statutes than traditional state schools, they also receive far less public funding per student. People often fail to realize the actual cost per student in public schools. “Only the private school parents recognize that,” Hage says, “because they have to pay that bill.” By nature of the awareness, parents are more involved because they want to make sure their money is being used wisely and efficiently.

Everyone connected with the charter school, from parents and administration down to individual teachers and students, are more involved and held accountable for student outcomes. “Traditional schools want more parental involvement. Charter schools need it. They live off of it. Schools of choice ─ that's the whole idea,” Hage says.

When looking at the educational system as a whole, Jonathan Hage sees the broken monopoly of the old public school system as an improving circumstance in the long run. After all, the most common response to the challenge is school districts changing and evolving to compete with specialized charter schools. When charter schools can change the old narrative on education, Hage says, "that’s good for everyone."

About Jonathan K. Hage:

Mr. Jonathan K. Hage is the Founder, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Charter Schools USA, Inc. Mr. Hage served for the last 2 years as the Founding President and Chairman of the board of NCEP, based in Washington, D.C.

During the last Presidential election, Mr. Hage was appointed to the National Steering Committee of the Bush/Cheney 2004 campaign as an Education Advisor and spokesperson. During the 1992 Presidential race, Mr. Hage was a Speech Researcher for President George H. W. Bush. Mr. Hage served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Integrated Strategies Group, Inc. Prior to ISG, Mr. Hage served as a Director of Research for Jeb Bush's Foundation for Florida's Future where he worked on education, tax and welfare policy reform. He has also served on multiple boards including Broward County's Charter Task Force and the State of Florida's Charter Review Panel appointed by the Senate President.

Mr. Hage served in the United States Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserves as a commissioned officer in the Special Forces (Green Berets), from 1986 to 1996 and was discharged honorably. Mr. Hage serves on the Board of Directors for Goodwill Industries, ChildNet and Associated Industries of Florida. He wrote and researched articles on state reform issues and has regularly testified before the Florida House and Senate. Mr. Hage also assisted in the early development of the first charter school in Florida, the Liberty City Charter School, a collaboration between Jeb Bush and T. Willard Fair, President of the Miami Urban League.

From 1990 to 1994, Mr. Hage served as Research Associate in Foreign Policy and Defense Studies for The Heritage Foundation, a Washington, D.C. based think-tank, where he researched, wrote and published public policy studies and articles. He was quoted in Education Week, Fox News and other national media. Mr. Hage holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Colorado and an M.A.L.S. specializing in International Affairs and Economics from Georgetown University.

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Further Reading:

Additional Reading:

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

Virtual learning meets the traditional classroom

About Rod Berger, PsyD.

Dr. Rod Berger is President and CEO of MindRocket Media Group. Berger is a global education media personality and strategic influencer featured in The Huffington Post, Scholastic, AmericanEdTV, edCircuit, EdTechReview India and Forbes

Audiences have enjoyed education interviews with the likes of Sir Ken Robinson, Arne Duncan, Randi Weingarten, Sal Khan along with leading edtech investors, award-winning educators, and state and federal education leaders. Berger’s latest project boasts a collaboration with AmericanEdTV and CBS’s Jack Ford.

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