The University of Oxford conferred a Post-Graduate Diploma in Strategy and Innovation on Tommy Fuller. A Post-Graduate Diploma, or PgD, is a program taught at a Masters and Doctorial level. After two years of rigorous classroom work, research, and study, not to mention a considerable amount of travel, Tommy was awarded the PgD with distinction for high marks. The program delved into concepts of strategy for any organization, whether large or small, new entrant or incumbent, as well as processes and procedures for understanding how innovation happens and building an organization in a way which allows it to recognize and seize opportunities.
On March 15, 2018, the NLRB’s Board in Washington, DC, issued a unanimous opinion deciding the NLRB does not have jurisdiction over Texas charter schools. Tommy Fuller represented the Texas charter school in a challenge to NLRB jurisdiction. This decision not only frees Texas charter schools from the constraints of NLRB regulation, but it also stands as the first time the NLRB has ruled a charter school is not subject to its jurisdiction. The Board had previously ruled in three cases that charter schools of other states were within its jurisdiction. This case sets a national precedent for charter schools in all states: if charter schools do not want to be subject to NLRB jurisdiction, they should urge their state legislatures to pass laws similar to Texas, which provide a public official with the authority to remove board members of the charter schools if the school violates laws. The Board’s decision can be read here: NLRB Decision.
As I come to the end of my studies in my graduate degree program in Strategy and Innovation at the University of Oxford, I have created a project to study the options available to charter schools looking to expand or build new facilities. The study will look into the current options available to charter schools (leases, bond financing, and traditional lending) and consider which options work best for certain types of schools. The study will also consider whether other options are available. I look forward to posting updates on these findings.
Tommy Fuller prepared and filed an amicus curiae brief in the Texas Supreme Court on behalf of the Texas Charter Schools Association on January 5, 2018 in the case of American Youthworks, et al vs. TEA and Mike Morath. In this case, TCSA challenges the actions of the Commissioner of Education, Mike Morath, in closing charter schools without providing meaningful due process and a hearing prior to making the final decision on closure. A write-up by TCSA can be found here, and a copy of the brief can be found here.
On August 28, 2017, Tommy Fuller was awarded a Certificate in Advanced Education Leadership by Harvard Graduate School of Education following his two years of coursework.
Tommy Fuller prepared and filed an amicus curiae brief with the Fifth Circuit federal court of appeals in New Orleans on behalf of the Texas Charter Schools Association and the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools. In this case, a Louisiana charter school is challenging the NLRB’s assertion of jurisdiction over it. A judge in Texas had ruled a few months previously that Texas charter schools are not subject to the NLRB’s jurisdiction. TCSA and the LAPCS wanted to file a brief with the Fifth Circuit to alert them of this fact and explain why Louisiana charter schools are also outside of the NLRB’s jurisdiction.
Tommy Fuller represented a charter school in a hearing before the NLRB wherein he argued Texas charter schools fall outside of the NLRB’s jurisdiction. After the hearing, conducted like a full trial with witness testimony, submission of evidence, and arguments of counsel, the administrative law judge presiding over the hearing issued a written opinion wherein he agreed: the NLRB does not have jurisdiction over Texas charter schools. This is a major win for Texas charter schools, although the NLRB’s local office will undoubtedly appeal it to the NLRB Board in Washington. We will continue the good fight! A copy of the Judge’s opinion can be found here.
Study is at the heart of Oxford, and the building in this picture is where I choose to do it. This is the Radcliffe Camera, the famous (and very photogenic) old library building housing just a portion of Oxford’s huge collection of old and rare books. The majority of Oxford’s library is underground in a maze of tunnels and aisles, but there are a few old buildings like this where students can enter and exit the library complex, as well as little desks and alcoves perfect for reading. It is only accessible to students of the University, which means I will no longer be able to enter this building once my program is completed. For the time being, I am soaking it in as much as I can. The history and knowledge seems to radiate from the walls of old buildings like this.
The times change, but traditions at Oxford do not. For every exam in our Strategy and Innovation program, we are required to wear a black suit, white shirt, white bow tie, and cap and gown. Dressed in this costume, we are led into an ancient building (much older than the one behind us in this picture) where we are seated with pen and paper and write essays as a proctor roams the aisles shouting “Silence!” if anyone makes too much noise adjusting in their seat or turning pages. As uncomfortable as that may sound, it is amazing to experience this tradition in the same way Oxford students have been taking exams for hundreds of years.