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Elementary and Primary Education
Harris County Department of Education
News Release
Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Charter school myths, realities discussed at luncheon forum on Nov. 2

Four area superintendents field questions about their schools


Charter school myths and realities are dispelled or underscored as four area superintendents join a forum for charter school dialogue on Nov. 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.  at Harris County Department of Education, 6300 Irvington Blvd.


“Charter Schools—from Competitor to Partner” equips attendees with facts about area charter schools.  The forum also provides answers about the differences between charter schools and traditional public schools.


Panelists include Duncan Klussmann, superintendent of Spring Branch Independent School District; Mike Feinberg, co-founder of KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) and superintendent of KIPP Houston; Jason Bernal, president of YES Prep Public Schools; and Victoria Dunn, superintendent of the Girls and Boys Preparatory Academy charter.


“Our guest superintendents give information about their schools, explain what makes their schools great in terms of best practices and share the challenges of leading their schools,” said John Sawyer, Harris County Department of Education county school superintendent.


The forum stresses the fact that charter schools are actually public schools. Best practices of charters schools are outlined and leaders tell how those might be replicated in traditional public schools. Superintendents share how they can partner with traditional public schools and not necessarily compete.


“Parents want what’s best for their children, and from choices come commitment and opportunity,” said KIPP co-founder Mike Feinberg.  Feinberg is superintendent of KIPP Houston which he co-founded in 1994.


“We are honored to be one of those choices for families and continue to seek unique ways to collaborate with traditional public schools to support more opportunities for Houston’s children,” Feinberg said.


Questions about charter schools will be fielded from the audience after introductions from each superintendent.


Cost for the forum is $10 and includes a box lunch.  For information about registration, call (713) 696-0790 or e-mail  To register through the Internet, access


About HCDE: Harris County Department of Education provides education services to the general public and 26 school districts throughout Harris County and beyond. Services include adult education, programs to promote safe schools, after-school programs, therapy services, professional development for educators, special schools, alternative certification for principals and teachers, and Head Start programs.  We offer purchasing procurement, grant development, program research and evaluation, records management, and school finance support.  Since 1889, our services continue to evolve to meet the needs of our education public. Visit us at

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