Style is more than Sartorial… – If you check out Derrell Bradford’s second appearance here on the CoffeeBreakthrough and our Home Page at Breakthrough, you will understand the very high premium our school choice community places on self expression.
And this issue of who we are and what we value has been dancing around my head since Derrell sent me his “rule-breaking” photos earlier this week…by all means, hit the link and travel to D”s matching tie. Gentleman, it’s on.
I had a further encounter with the power of personal style driving with my kids through our son’s new neighborhood in downtown Phoenix, which is by far the most exciting part of the city for me.
It was kind of a scary place when I was younger, neglected and overrun by anonymous buildings and abandoned homes.
Today, it is a genuinely hip village of sorts, with a bounty of very small restaurants, coffee houses, artist galleries, local markets and apartment homes.
This is not a place built by the numbers; it is a collection of individual and artistic efforts, where you feel surrounded by others who value the sense of place they have created.
I told my kids that this kind of energized revitalization, driven by gifted artists and visionary community members, reflected my highest aspirations for a new day in education.
We had just driven by one of the state’s best schools, the Arizona School for the Arts, which is happily nestled in this section of town, directly across from the Phoenix Art Museum.
As we drove by, we discussed how ironic it is that excellence, high art, and unique expression…all of which are the hallmarks of a great education…have been wrung from so much of our one-size-fits-all school system.
The irony begets a discussion longer than the CoffeeBreakthrough blog can support, but the simultaneous push for school choice and shared academic standards has been a confusing issue for many.
To cut to the chase on this…standards should support highly diverse and creative schools in the same way that the foundations of any structure support a myriad of architectural styles and purposes.
What a gift it will be when many more great teachers who understand this duality reclaim the unique art and excellence of their profession by starting their own schools.
Speaking of which, check out Arizona Charter Schools Association’s “Charter Starter” program…and pass it on to a gifted teacher in the hopes they will be inspired to bring their own style to the brave new world of school choices.
And break a few rules in the process.