Secret to school success? Clear mission, relentless focus

I used to say that I am a charter school founder but not necessarily a charter school supporter. My first experience in charter schools was opening Raleigh Charter High School, and the wonderful education that goes on there taught me that it was the quality of the education that was important, not that it was a charter school, per se.
In fact, one of the reasons our little team of four moms put in that charter application was because we couldn’t get our kids into Enloe High School, our county’s academically gifted program. We didn’t care where it happened; we just wanted our kids to get a world-class education.
Over time, though, as more and more long-faced acquaintances told me they couldn’t get their kids into Raleigh Charter, I began to suspect that education was a lot more complicated than was known to my little mom-world. That maybe form does equal function, as the architects say, and that designing a school to achieve a certain goal – like world-class education – is part of the answer. I began to believe that it was schools with a “mission” and laser-like focus that were key to a quality education.

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