Serve People, Not Ideas

Pope Francis is visiting Cuba today, at a time when the country is thawing from the Cold War politics that have isolated it for decades. I read about his message delivered in today's mass. Pope Francis spoke against ideological decisions, stating that "service is never ideological for we do not serve ideas, we serve people." I've been thinking about this all day, with Seattle's recent education drama in the backdrop.

I have personally been swept up in what many would consider ideology lately. In the wake of the charter ruling, I felt compelled to act and write. I stand behind my words and my actions, because they came from passion for my students. In the aftermath, I've realized that ideas and people are hard to keep separate. My own personal skepticism of labor politics mixed in with my frustration. Meanwhile, others rushed to take my words and amplify them for their own agendas. All of this leaves me with more questions than answers.

What does it mean to fight for people and not ideas when it comes to education? How do we know that fighting for students is more than a euphamism? Is there actually room for nuance in education policy debates, or does change necessarily come from convincing ideology?

I'll leave it here for now. As always, I welcome discussion.

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