During our #AskExcelinEd Summer Learning series, you’ll get to know some of ExcelinEd’s team as they share what they are learning over the summer. Remember to join us on social media to ask your burning policy questions. Enjoy!
ExcelinEd’s Associate Policy Director for Charter Schools
I’m a teacher and school administrator turned policy enthusiast. I care most about policy mechanisms that empower people to urgently address their most pressing challenges. That includes public charter schools.
Print Book over E-Book
Text over Phone Call
Coffee over Tea
What I’m Reading
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
A thrilling adventure by J.K. Rowling, this fantastical novel reminds us that, just like Harry, it’s important to do your own analysis.
My Favorite Quote
What Inspires Me
In her recent book Democracy: Stories from the long road to freedom, Dr. Condoleezza Rice provides an important reminder: the founders of our country were skeptical that our nation could overcome slavery, but the Constitution has allowed American democracy to evolve.
Our Constitution—the foundation of our government and society—empowers us to address real problems. The idea that we have some agency, some influence on the direction of our nation is incredibly inspiring, and it continues to drive me.
Research I’m Reading
- What Parents Want From Education: The Case for Real Choices — Walton Foundation (See our commentary.)
- Key Trends in Special Education in Charter Schools: A Secondary Analysis of the Civil Rights Data Collection — National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools (See our commentary.)
ExcelinEd Resource Highlight
I’m most proud of my blog about why people start public charter schools. A short, 466-word read that describes seven genesis stories from seven states. Public charter schools allow families and communities to address local, urgent needs.
About the author
Before Sam joined ExcelinEd as the Associate Policy Director for Charter Schools, he was a special education teacher, a school and central office administrator, the Executive Director of School Choice at Oklahoma’s department of education and the Managing Director of OPSRC’s Education Collaborative. In every position, Sam worked creatively to meet student needs. He founded the Integrated Support Program at Fischer Middle School in San Jose, California to increase the number and percentage of students with learning disabilities who have access to the general education classroom. He was the first administrator of Oklahoma’s Statewide Virtual Charter School Board, the authorizer for online schools in Oklahoma. And he co-founded a statewide afterschool network called the Oklahoma Partnership for Expanded Learning to organize and advocate for expanded learning opportunities after school and during the summer. Sam’s current interests include charter schools and their role in a functional, thriving democracy.