School Talk

An Important Conversation About Choice and Accountability—on Twitter!

Accountability is a word that means different things to different people in the education space and it is often the reason for disagreement and even fractures among people who often see themselves on the same side of the debate. For some supporters of parent choice—well, charters at least—accountability is about math and reading scores, plain and simple. For others, it is about what parents want for their children and is often defined, at least in part, as “parents voting with their feet.” But many folks, myself included, land somewhere between these two poles and I worry that conversations about choice that value the complexity of accountability and show an understanding and respect for what drives parents to make different choices are getting increasingly hard to find. But when I do come upon a robust,  respectful, and public conversation, it helps me to work through my own thinking and also better understand where others are coming from.

At the moment, much of the debate and yes, even upset, is around virtual charter schools, a sector that has long been broad-brushed—or scapegoated—as “the problem” in the charter sector. I do not pretend to know enough to make any declarative statements about virtual charter schools—I am in a learning and listening phase so I’m grateful for threads like this. Twitter makes it a bit confusing and hard to capture every part of the conversation but here’s my best effort.

Thanks to everyone putting themselves out there, despite disagreement and even personal pain and sacrifice, to do right by parents and kids.

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