07 July 2011

Ropes and Rods

I've been considering how a rope compares to a rod. A rod is strong but not flexible at all. A rope is strong AND flexible, which makes it more versatile. A rope is made of many strands, each of which is made of many fibers. Together they provide strength along with a give and take that allows it to bend without breaking. If we could somehow melt all these fibers and strands into one rod, they would all be the same but without the ability to bend. There would be no flexibility, no give and take.

This is how I see the need to maintain the viability and strength of our different levels of governance, such as national, state, and local, rather than concentrating all the power to ever higher levels. Consolidating into ever bigger units undermines this flexibility. When a district grows too big, it operates more like a rod. The bureaucracy becomes inflexible. It cannot bend with needs of differing areas. Dividing into smaller, community-sized districts re-creates the right balance between teachers, schools, and districts (fibers, strands, rope).

No comments:

Post a Comment