While many status-quo education leaders are well versed in explaining what can’ t be done, the new entrepreneurs are the MacGyvers of the sector. Like the hero of the 1980s TV show, they display a remarkable capacity for getting things done— even if the tools at hand are only duct tape, bubble gum, and an oilcan. What sets entrepreneurs apart is that they are creative, passionate, and inexhaustible. Those who launched KIPP, TFA, NewSchools, Edison, and TNTP routinely worked more than 100 hours a week while scrambling about the country with no surety of success or even job security. To keep themselves and their teams inspired, they need to believe that their ingenuity and sweat will ultimately yield success. Those engaged in such exertions have little time or use for policy debates; they pour their energy into working with, around, and through whatever barriers exist.


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