Waiting for Superman


“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister of Propaganda, Nazi Germany

I read Waiting for Superman and…you guessed it…it made me mad.  Will there ever be a day when we can have a logical conversation about education in this country: Communities and school districts on one side of the table – GOVERNMENT on the other side.  What will it take to realize schools and school districts are NOT the bad guys?
It is so easy to point the finger of blame at “schools” for “failing kids.”  But, the reality is this: For a long time now, people hundreds and even thousands of miles away are legislating how teachers teach and how districts write curriculum. They grade them on some moving target standard that assumes all children have the same motivation, early learning experiences and levels of parent involvement.  They assume all children are going to be college-bound when that has never been the case but they deny funding to schools, do mass firings of teachers who don’t conform to the State and even shut down schools who don’t meet these impossible standards. 

They pit school districts against each other in a ratings cage match, reducing the CHILDREN in the buildings to data points on a color-coded chart all for the sake of some rating.  This is a travesty. 

All because some education lobby got in front of the legislators and told them this was “best for children,” when, in reality, they were saying, “this is best for ME.”  What do they know about MY children?  What do they know about our teachers?  NOTHING.  So, why have we allowed them to have so much power over something that should be solely a local decision? 

Do I believe there is inequity in the education system?  yes.
Do I believe there must be a way to hold schools accountable for educating children? yes. 
Do I believe there will always be people in the wrong job?  yes.
Do I believe schools sometimes make mistakes? yes.
Do I believe some POLITICIAN should tell me how my child should be educated?  absolutely not.
Do I believe there is a conspiracy to dismantle public education in this country?  absolutely.


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