We suffered a set back after a surprise attack by elements within our lurking old model infrastructure: career educators, fearful of competition, successfully killed our hopes for a new charter school in PDX.
The proposal had won high marks for being exemplary of what a charter school proposal should look like. In all eight or nine categories, it met or exceeded Portland Public School standards.
But that wasn't enough apparently.
It wasn't entirely clear what the final makeup of the student body would be, or what kind of success kids would have (duh: the future isn't certain, don't we all know that? -- and that goes for long term enrollment numbers while we're on the subject).
The real concern: a bright shiny new school on the block, full of possibility and hope, would provide an alternative to the dreary existing schools, which are putting on a show of reforming from within, but can't, because real reform by definition comes from outside the same old lame, tired, inner circle.
Individuals may reinvent themselves, but whole faculties do not, not collectively. We go our separate ways, when a core philosophy dies. Individuals adapt (or don't) but schools of thought emerge and dissipate, perhaps to re-emerge (to wax and wane -- it could be cyclic, even chaotic/chaordic). Yes, you could always say they "transform" but what constitutes identity then? If a core philosophy deeply changes, is it the same school or a new school of thought? (a grammatical question).
Anyway, we were hoping to hook up these outer northeast Portland kids with more adventures in open source, entrepeneurship and apprenticeship opportunities. PSU was lined up, local businesses were game, grassroots neighborhood associations and NGOs were signalling green.
But some of the entrenched faculty want to hold on to power, fear competition. There's nothing new or surprising about that. And so we watch the predictable attempts to game the system, to hold on to what's ultimately untenable (life goes on -- that's just what's so; can't really blame anybody for that).
Anyway, it's somewhat sad to watch these fights.
I hope I'm more graceful in my moves to shed obsolete deadweight from my thinking. What I saw tonight was sooo not pretty.