Things I Know 189 of 365: I’m not interested in pictures painted with the all the same brush

You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Reading a post Monday critiquing the Andre Agassi Ventures LLC plan to join with an investment firm to secure, rent and plan to sell properties to charter schools, I stumbled over a passage.

I mean that. I was motoring along, consuming the information, filtering what jived with my previous knowledge and what needed to run down the shoot of new ideas.

Then I got to the following:

This shows the true aim of charter schools–they won’t be run in the interests of students, but to meet the needs of charter operators to be profitable, in order to pay off their lenders and landlords.


Say what you will about charter schools (and I know people will rush to the microphone of public opinion on that invitation), but I have a hard time believing any one move by any one organization can or should be taken as representative of the whole.

Reading the remainder of the post held little interest for me after those few lines. I’m willing to wager the writer of the post would claim charter schools ignore the individuality and individual needs of their students in the interest of maintaining monetary solvency. If that’s the charge and an argument of seeing individuals is to be maintained then that same perspective must be the benchmark of opining.

This is difficult. It’s difficult from all perspectives.

Those speaking and spending the loudest in favor of improving teacher efficacy frequently wander off the message of building on the strengths of the most successful teachers onto what sounds like a tirade condemning the majority of educators.

Such is also the case when those railing most vociferously against the worst managed and most harmful begin to dull their arguments by fencing all charter schools into the same camp.

If Petrino DiLeo disagrees with charters, if he considers them the bane of modern education, so be it.

As soon as he or anyone else gives in to the temptation of seeing anything other through a homogenizing lens, the middle is lost. And, as was the case with me, those whose ears, eyes and minds might be open to you become quickly closed.


2 thoughts on “Things I Know 189 of 365: I’m not interested in pictures painted with the all the same brush

  1. I must not understand the charter school debate as well as I thought I did…my youngest daughter just graduated from The Charter School of Wilmington and as a parent, I could not have been happier with the care they took of her and the education she earned in that four years. I also felt guilty the entire time because charter schools “weaken” all other schools in the district. But here is the tough part: it was right for her, and she came first. The middle way will be hard to find in the debate.

    • That's exactly is, Leslie. More and more, I hear voices making all or nothing claims about schools and types of school. “All public schools are disasters,” or “All charters are fantastic,” or vice versa. The great worry I have is that these are the voices being heard the loudest. As with so many issues, the issue of choice in education is being simplified to the point that it truly runs the risk of diminishing the availability of choice on all sides.We're not being nearly as thoughtful as we could or should be.

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