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Risky Business

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December 7, 2012

Remember the board game Risk, where the goal was “world domination,” or “to occupy every territory on the board and in so doing, eliminate all other players“? Well unfortunately this scenario is playing out in real life in the charter school world in the form of increasing regulations. The problem is autonomy at flexibility are at the very heart of the charter school movement, and this regulatory creep puts these essential elements in danger.

But as Jeanne Allen notes while discussing these increasing rules on John Stossel: “Good Intentions Gone Wrong”, the name of the board game itself is an important piece of the puzzle as well:

“Even the charter movement is so afraid to make a mistake. It fears risk because they are so afraid that if they don’t show themselves to be the very, very best, then they will go out of business. But the reality is, risk is in every great innovative business. It’s what makes America tick. And so when you want high quality, you want to take a risk on someone who wants to start a school.”

Speaking of making America tick…

Tim Cook, the new CEO of Apple, was asked by Brian Williams what it would take for Apple to become a “Made in America” company and what that would do to the price of iphones. “It’s not so much about price, it’s about the skills, etc.,” Cook told Williams. “Over time, there are skills that are associated with manufacturing that have left the United States. Not necessarily people, but the education system has just stopped producing that. It’s a concerted effort to get them back.”

by Kara Kerwin & Michelle Tigani

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