Last Word: School Choice

October 2017

Upon reading every article and written contribution to this issue, I am struck by one thing: not one contributor was humiliated, castigated, threatened, demonized, fired, ostracized or denigrated for their position or opinion. None of our respected contributors used inflammatory language or ad hominem attack. There were no promises of protest, retribution or retaliation for another’s differing view. Rather, I have noted the expression of respect with clear difference, concern with trying to understand and regard for leadership while not agreeing with positions taken or beliefs held.

I am trying to understand why this differs from the rhetoric and actions now too often witnessed outside the pages of The Line. Contributors to the publication have demonstrated a clear respect for difference that does not transgress the dignity of the other — even when arguments or viewpoints are sharply offered. Therein, lies the first lesson I take away. When we, as leaders, view our actions as a constant and public opportunity to model, especially for youth, we encourage learning and bridge divide. Now that is a master lesson.

In August, I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the total eclipse of the sun. I chose to view this in a part of our country where my political views on most issues differ from most in that geography.

I chose to view this awesome, natural phenomenon with individuals whose experiences could not be more different than my own — with all our imperfections of life lessons and efforts. And I chose to view this with people I deeply admire, respect, care for and love.

We all have a center of common belief in our young people.
John E. Deasy, Editor-in-Chief

We shared an event of common awe and singular experience, while in communion as a collective. We were transfixed and unified. We tried to make sense of the unimaginable and non-experienced. And we did it together. Thus, the second lesson learned is that getting close to difference with the purpose of a common experience can be profound.

We all have a center of common belief in our young people, our dedication to equity and our need to grow and understand. Can’t that be an everyday experience rather than one that is never-to-be-repeated? This issue of The Line, dealing with such thorny issues as school choice, is more an invitation than a declaration of new learning and offered on the anvil of civil discourse. How about that America?

Thank you for my growth and new learning,

John Deasy Signature

John E. Deasy, PH.D.
Editor-in-Chief, The Line