No drink, drank or drunk…no pointing….and you have to take a shot with each triangulation hemisphere fallacy!
(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
Mike Petrilli created a taxonomy of school choice factions which is kind of fun. I agree with a good deal of it, especially the part about the interesting conversations now being between choice supporters rather than between choice supporters and opponents. Some of Mike’s take however strongly evokes Greg’s classic series of Hemisphere Fallacy posts: Faction one claims that the earth is a sphere, faction two insists that the earth is flat, so the real answer is obviously that the world is actually a hemisphere! Somewhere along the way these posts turned into a drinking game.
So in the taxonomy, Mike identifies JPGB as an oasis for “Purists,” identifies a more nebulous group of “Nannies” and then others as “Realists.” Mike identifies himself in the “Realist” camp.
Triangulation nudges one to exaggeration in order to create middle space to inhabit. Mike describes Purists as holding charter schools with suspicion, but a quick search through the JPGB archives will reveal dozens of reviews of charter school research, celeNAEPtion posts etc. for every “get off my lawn kid and take that Recovery School District with you!” post. Mike also describes ESA supporters as “utopian.” Someone put a link in the comments if you have seen otherwise, but I think the consistent theme in the ESA discussion has been their virtues vis a vis older models. I’ve made a consistent effort to describe our unfolding ESA experiment as a learning experience. I see an entirely reasonable path for real benefits, but I have never promised anyone a Workers Paradise or the New Jerusalem.
Or **ahem** “No Child Left Behind.”
I see questions over regulation within a system of parental choice to be an entirely appropriate topic for discussion and debate. It’s worth noting that from the very outset of the parental choice movement Milton Friedman called both for standardized testing and a certain degree of regulation. So in my mind thinking about this as a spectrum would make sense, but if I made a taxonomy it would look like:
Separation of School and State Extremists
Jeffersonian Freedom Fighting Sons of the Great Milton Friedman
Nanny State Busy Bodies
After careful consideration I place myself in the Jeffersonian Freedom Fighting Sons of the Great Milton Friedman…what?!? I did WHAT?!? Oh fine…