Following are 10 notable education leaders and their charter management organizations:
1. Larry Rosenstock, High Tech High: the best example of applied and integrated learning I’ve seen.
2. Dacia Toll, Achievement First: the best operator in the business—it’s the relentless pursuit for excellence through execution that makes AF the best performing network.
3. Eva Moskowitz, Harlem Succes: a great example of a tight network (common school design with strong execution management).
4. Irasema Salcido, Cesar Chavez; I love the public policy focus (particularly given the Washington DC location) and how Irasema’s team has integrated it throughout the curriculum.
5. Don Shalvey, Aspire: paired elementary and secondary schools with strong college press. Don is a gem and has the largest music collection in the charter business.
6. Steve Barr, Green Dot: piloting a thin employment contract, parent organizing, and more school level flexibility
7. Dave Domenici and James Foreman, Maya Angelou and See Forever Foundation: a great high support alternative school model in Washington DC.
8. Rosemary Perlmeter, Uplift and Tom Torkelson, IDEA: two partner Texas networks focused on International Baccalaureate—high quality schools that hold very high standards.
9. Howard Fuller (and now Gerard Robinson), BAEO: Howard borrowed the Edvisions model (like Big Picture) and recruited African American leadership to create quality urban alternatives.
10. JC Huizinga, National Heritage: a for-profit operator that has quietly achieved scale with quality traditional schools. Educational management companies (including Mosaica, Leona, Edison, etc) now serve more kids than CMOs.
Honorable mention: KIPP and Big Picture aren’t technically CMOs but both large and important ‘franchise’ charter developers. KIPP is important for scaled quality. Big Picture is a pioneer in personalized learning .
Other high quality CMOs include Perspectives and Noble in Chicago; Friendship in Washington DC; Envision in San Francisco; PUC, ICEF, and Alliance in LA; and others I forgot to mention. The good news is that the list gets longer every year.