Through the college gates

Community colleges, businesses, and charter schools are collaborating in exciting ways. Most of us assume that college is the destiny for a successful student, but is that assumption still true? Is college still necessary? If so, what are we doing on the secondary school side to ensure enrollment persistence and college graduation? If not, what steps should we be looking at to promote lifelong learning. What can we learn from
other countries?


Keith Frome is a Braddock Scholar at the Aspen Institute. He authored two award-winning books on education, What Not to Expect (Crossroad Publishing) and How’s My Kid Doing? (Crossroad Publishing) and co-edited the landmark Columbia Book of Civil War Poetry (Columbia University Press) which was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top five war poetry books of all time. Keith sits on several boards, including America Achieves, the King Center Charter School, and the St. Joseph Collegiate Institute. 


Bridget Fetter is the founding principal of Chain of Lakes Collegiate Charter High School at Polk State College, Winter Haven Florida. Civic engagement is a major component of Chain of Lakes High School’s culture and Bridget is a strong proponent of service learning, leading numerous multi-participant projects over the course of her career.  Bridget has made numerous presentations at county, state, and national conferences. From 2002 through 2003, she was Program Specialist at the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Assessment and Accountability. She currently represents the Polk County Charter School Association on the Polk County District Charter School application review committee and previously chaired the Charter Association Teacher of the Year selection process.

Kyleen Carpenter is the founding principal of Blackstone Academy Charter School in Pawtucket, RI, serving 350 high school students from three urban areas. Blackstone was founded in 2002 by a group of 7 educators/community members who had worked together in the summer SPIRIT Educational Program. Both SPIRIT and Blackstone are grounded in the principles of the Coalition of Essential Schools and Ted Sizer’s work at Brown University. Prior to founding Blackstone Academy, Kyleen taught Spanish for 9 years at three different independent schools. In addition to her leadership duties at Blackstone, she is an adjunct faculty member in the graduate departments at Antioch and at Providence College.

Terrence Joseph is the Principal of the Renaissance Charter High School for Innovation in East Harlem, NYC. As the son of immigrants from Trinidad who flourished in careers of social service, Terence was drawn to pursue a career in which he could help others. He attended Columbia Teachers College during which time he was greatly affected by the students of his high school ELA courses in Wings Academy and Bronx Prep Charter School. Realizing the best way to increase his impact was to impact other teachers, he sought out leadership roles to develop staff and lead teams, first as a new teacher developer, then a grade team leader, and ultimately transitioning into his current leadership role at “Innovations.”