Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nothing to Hide

That, according to US Education Secretary Arne Duncan, is what American teachers have.  Therefore it's OK to post their students' scores in newspapers, clearly suggesting they are solely responsible for whether or not they pass, fail, or fall somewhere in between.  Duncan, who failed miserably in Chicago in his effort to improve schools, is imposing his tried-and-failed methods on the rest of the country just for the heck of it.

For Arne Duncan, it doesn't matter that you, or I, or your Aunt Sylvia's name gets plastered all over the papers, as though we were serial killers or pedophiles.  After all, he's in the public eye, and when he falls flat on his face, he's praised by tabloids and promoted to national prominence by no less than President Hopey-Changey himself.  In fact, he doesn't even know anyone who opposes his policies.

This is what happens when you live in a bubble, when you have no idea what life is like for ordinary people, and when you don't give a golly goshdarn about finding out.  Most Americans won't know your student failed because there's no electricity in his apartment, because he's homeless, because he's had interrupted formal education, because she has a kid, because her mother and father are kids, because she's learning disabled, because she's pregant, because she's addicted to Facebook, to Xbox, to crack, to sex, to sloth, because he works after school, because he's been in school 12 years and never learned how to read, because he's obsessed, because he's out of the country, because he doesn't exist and was invented by a computer with a sense of humor.

All the fabled Joe Six Pack will know is you, the teacher, suck, you failed, the kids failed and it's your fault.  Your name will be in the paper like the Scarlet Letter.  You're Hester Prynne, Willie Horton, Charles Manson--a social outcast, an undesirable, a bum.   What's to be done?  Naturally, you have to be fired.  Being publicly humiliated for factors beyond your control isn't remotely enough for the likes of you. 

Perhaps then you can lose your home, like so many Americans, and end up living in an Obamaville.  Remarkable that, in a time like this, a Democratic President thinks what we need is more job loss.
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