I wanted to ask a question of the Education Panel at Rising Tide III, but time ran out and the question went unasked. So I thought I’d pose it here.
We hear a lot of talk about a great experiment going on in our fractured New Orleans school systems. We’ve got all these charter schools, many taking different and supposedly novel approaches to education. Yet still, with all this panoply of choices, this rich buffet of options, this veritable smorgåsbord — still it seems that many of the new charters emphasize only greater regimentation, greater control, longer school days, longer school years, more rigid curriculum, and so forth. The experiments are all about order, or so it seems to me. But there’s another strain of educational experimentation that doesn’t seem to be present on the local scene, the approach that emphasizes freedom, liberty, democratic process, putting children in charge of their own education. (For example, the Sudbury model.) This is the sort of educational experience I envision wanting for my own daughter. I don’t see any examples of this locally, neither public nor private, despite the supposedly rich array of choices now available to parents in New Orleans. Do you agree with this observation, and if so can you explain why this is the case?