The problem is less choice, than the quality of that choice. What Michigan has is a highly lenient oversight system for the charter schools and their authorizers. So “choice” then betrays itself as a sort of excuse-making, a sweeping under the rug. It is far more important to think of charter schools as communities rather than as institutions: as communities they represent the desires of parents for something better for their children. This desire is the fundamental reason that charters are here for the long haul.
Jim Heynen had a very distinguished, even illustrious career in guiding institutional change. Now he’s living off the grid in the depths of Manistee National Forest and wondering about community
I wanted isolation and, just beyond my isolation, I wanted community. The Bitely Tavern, with its world-class olive burger and falling-down back wall, is a start. But I came for more: the bonding of neighbors who have differences, but share a common need for one another.
The forest has made good on its promise. We have serenity. But this “community” thing has proven elusive. I’ve wondered if there’s any such thing; it feels like snipe hunting.
His conclusion is that community is something he must create. This leaves a sort of an urbanist question: how do we live together if we insist on our privately living apart?