Saturday, October 16, 2010

Open Door Policy

I just saw this "news" regarding charter schools. "One local middle school just got 140 students returned because the charters didn't want them." I'm not sure the origin of this statement or whether it's even true. But I will say that there is one distinct difference between charter schools, private schools and regular public schools.

Public schools don't discriminate. Public schools say "yes" to everyone who comes. In fact, they can't say "No."

Public schools have open door policies. Even if they don't have space, they'll make room for you. They'll let you in early and let you stay late while you follow your parents' work schedule. They'll feed you if you didn't have breakfast.

Public schools don't accept "some" or just a "few" - public schools accept ALL.

And that comes at a price.

It's actually reminiscent of the philosophy of the United States - let me quote Lady Liberty as a reminder.

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

 Democracy is messy - and public schools promote democracy, so they are going to be messy too. But it's worth the fight!