The best and brightest among educational entrepreneurs are often called rock stars. Though I can hardly imagine two things more different than, say, a ???????no excuses??????? charter school and backstage at a Led Zeppelin gig, the honorific is pretty fitting????????these are highly talented, driven, and popular people who have a certain cool about them.
In the world of music, every generation or so, lightning strikes, and someone can lay claim to ???????double rock star??????? billing, having been part of two major acts????????like Clapton (the Yardbirds and Cream) or Dave Grohl (Nirvana and Foo Fighters).
This brings me to Norman Atkins, founder of Uncommon Schools, one of the nation's highest performing charter school networks. At an AEI event yesterday and then over dinner, Atkins described his latest venture: launching and leading Teacher U, a joint project with Hunter College that may completely change our understanding of how to prepare urban educators.
The best principals and teachers from Uncommon Schools, KIPP, and Achievement First and leading professors from Hunter will serve as instructors. Their students will be currently serving teachers who will learn the tactical...