Founding Father

In getting a charter school started, I learned how to make people really angry

Illustration by Tomasz Walenta for TIME; Pencils—Getty Images

I expect people to see the good in me even when there isn't any. So when I volunteered to become a founding parent of a charter school in Los Angeles, I imagined getting a lot of kudos for my effort to improve my community, which I planned to do mostly by naming things or making speeches. I didn't really know what a founding parent did.

But I did know that being one meant my 3-year-old son Laszlo would get priority when we enroll him in kindergarten--my real motivation. Sending Laszlo to public school is important to me because private school is...

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