A lot of discussion arose in the live blog thread about the nature of this blog and the needs of the community. This blog can be the place for people to connect all across the District. If you have a thread that you would like us to start, then you are free to suggest it. We get a lot of such requests and typically fulfill them. There are open discussions twice a week. Please let us know how we can make the threshold even lower.
People discuss what they want to discuss. If it leans more in one direction than another then that's what happens. You are free to discuss sparsely mentioned topics, but I know of no way to compel other people to discuss your topic of interest if they don't share that interest. I guess you can just work to make it more interesting for them.
There has been discussion here of the decision to make Dearborn Park an option school, discussion of the proposed attendance area changes for Kimball, and the re-shuffle of the Mercer, Aki Kurose and Washington feeder schools. We don't typically cap discussion unless it gets out of hand, so I don't suppose there was anything left unsaid about that. If there is, then you are free to say it.
I have seen more discussion of common core and Special Education here than anywhere else. Anyone who has more to say about these topics - or any other - is free to do so. Yes, participation requires access to a computer and the internet, but they are available in libraries and they can be borrowed. We don't require people to pay, to register, or even to provide their real name. We have a short list of rules, but we don't even enforce those 100%. We do not suffer from over-regulation.
No one had a better discussion of the Mann building issues than we did here. We had the news sooner, more frequently updated, and more diverse than anything else I saw. A diversity of opinions means that there will be voices that don't share your perspective or agree with it. That's unpleasant for a lot of people. It means that people will challenge your perspective and opinion. That's also unpleasant for a lot of people. I cannot offer any balm for this unpleasantness other than to remind you that other people are full human beings, you know, just like you, and they have their own ideas and right to voice them.
The Mann building issue was also complicated because some saw it as a mix of multiple issues - the crisis and failure to adequately educate African-American students, the control of property, the choice of the ACEI as partners with the District, and more - while others saw it as a unified issue in which the acknowledgement of the crisis and failure in education is synonymous with support for the occupation and the selection of the ACEI as district partners in addressing the failure. In that perspective any wavering of support for the ACEI or questioning of their tactics was perceived as denial or dismissal of the crisis. Others believed that you could agree that there is a crisis and we need to address it immediately without presuming that the ACEI are the best choice of partners or that the building occupation was the best tactic. That division of perspective appeared here because that division of perspective exists in the community. Again, I can offer no balm for the pain of an opposing view.