Thursday, September 15, 2016


Unless you have been living under a rock, you have probably heard that people are all going nuts about school choice.  Yeah.  Duh.  The funny thing, in my oh, so humble opinion, is that a whole bunch of people have no idea what that really means.

Here's the thing: there are different ways to educate children: private schools, charter schools, homeschooling, and public schools.  The buzz around here lately is about charter schools because Grace College thinks it's a great idea to authorize a charter school, South Shore Classical Academy, in our backyards.  SSCA wants to take students from the already fantastic Valparaiso Community Schools and Duneland Schools because reasons.  Greenback reasons.

There was a public hearing last night about this proposed charter.  I couldn't be there because I was at curriculum night at my kids' AMAZING PUBLIC school, but I know people who did go.  Thanks to the power of social media, I was able to read a play-by-play of the hearing and exactly how little time was afforded to the public to share views that oppose SSCA.  Talk about bullies.  One of the most interesting things of the night was that a charter committee member, from Kansas, no less, said that some people want to go to Garwood Orchard or County Line Orchard (nearby orchards) for their apples instead of settling for apples from Strack and VanTil (local grocery store.)

Um, okay.  First of all, the guy is from Kansas, not Indiana. Nope.  Zip it.  Second, using that analogy is like comparing apples to oranges...or orangutans.  Third, Mr. Kansas has undoubtedly never met any of the apples from Strack and VanTil because if he had, he would know that those apples are shiny, crispy, sweet, and flavorful treats.

Listen, I understand that some people might want apples from Garwood or County Line because saying their apples are from an orchard and not a grocery store must make them feel important and give them a certain panache.  Driving to an orchard twice a day would give some people a real rush so they could exclaim at how busy and important they are.  Some might have heard from friends that apples from an orchard get into only the best pies and tarts in the country.  There are people who believe that all apples benefit from competition and comparisons. Please.

Here is the main issue: you can't expect anyone else to foot the bill if you decide not to "settle" for local apples.  I personally don't care if you go to Garwood or County Line because my life is not affected.  However, I am not going to pay for your mileage, your gas, your apples, or any extra donuts that you might want.  It's just not going to happen.  You think my apples are going to spoil your precious apple?  That's your top secret personal beeswax, but I can tell you that our public apples, no matter if they are scratched or unripe or small or tart or sweet or crunchy or fragrant, don't need you to judge them.  The apple pickers who work tirelessly to grow beautiful and bountiful fruit, they don't need your alternative picking process.  And if you think you can go to Garwood or County Line and then bill me for your produce, you're in for a throw down.  

Sorry not sorry, SSCA.  We don't want you around, and more importantly, we don't NEED you around.  There is nothing you can provide that Valparaiso and Duneland don't already provide.  There is no chance that your presence will in any way improve our systems.  You can try to peddle your ideology elsewhere because we're not buying it.  Take your so-called classical apples and go on home.  

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