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June 07, 2008

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The back-and-forth of these two posts illustrates a core defect in our nation's way of doing things: either/or-ism.

Take a quick look at any - ANY - product or service out there in the world and you will always -- ALWAYS -- see that there are different approaches that make sense for different situations and market segments. There is no one size fits all. NONE.

Yet, when it comes to highly politicized topics like education, we routinely find otherwise talented and perceptive people embedding themselves and their world views in concrete, one-size-fits-all opinions. Either charter schools are BAD. Or, charter schools are GOOD.

It's a shame. Because all of us lose out on the more interesting and much more useful discussion about when and why and under what circumstances charter schools work well; when, why and under what circumstances they don't work well; when, why and under what circumstances public schools work well; and, when, why and under what circumstances public schools do not work so well.

This kind of commentary could actually help parents (and kids of a certain age) to look for patterns that make sense or don't make sense for them. Likewise, other constituencies such as school officials, teachers, voters and so forth.

Instead, what Jon and Keegan have done for us -- and they are typical -- is give us GOOD v. BAD.

Wow, LGK's response seems to completely miss the point. Nowhere did Jon make charter schools out to be a R v. D issue the way LGK did. Her response appears to counter imagined arguments against charter schools. The politically charged tone she created in her email is unnecessary and shows her true colors as a politician and partisan rather than an education advocate.

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