Choices spice the stew

November 7, 2012 

BROOKS MITCHELL, Sunnyside

Beyond the 1 percent and 99 percent, there is another percentage to acknowledge -- that of the children and their great differences. I agree with Buckminster Fuller that all children are born with far more assets than understood; that all can be geniuses, limited only by their environment.

A one-size-fits-all school model flattens the intellect and spirit of many. Not only do we neglect many sorts of talents, we do not give breathing room to those whose desire is for abstract ideas, philosophy and invention.

Without choices, we sink into mediocrity. Kurt Vonnegut described in Harrison Bergeron how sameness perverts the ideal of equality. Physicist David Bohm warned that our favored school model creates changes in the brain, aka stupidity.

It doesn't take many liberated minds to provide valuable ideas, but, like pepper in the stew pot, it takes enough to be noticed. Today's stew is way too bland. We need choices. Even as the choice allowed with charter schools may initially be to make a choice between two deficient schools, the concept of choice in fact is a huge leap forward. It might lead to a day when we routinely had election choices between qualified candidates.

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