Friday, December 22, 2006

Seat Time

Mayor Bloomberg's administration, which raised an unholy brouhaha over social promotion, is now concerned, since its policy of not counting dropouts in graduation rates has come under fire. It's therefore come up with a creative strategy to pass more kids--give them credit for "seat time".

Unity-New Action mouthpiece Leo Casey does not think kids should get credit for simply being alive. As usual, he misses the point. The kids are getting credit for being in their chairs. Think of all the people Donald Trump has fired for being reckless and stupid. Had they just sat in their chairs, perhaps they could have avoided their unhappy fates.

Had Miss USA just sat in her chair, she wouldn't have had to endure all the melodrama all over the news the other day (and we wouldn't have had to watch her or the Donald). Had President Bush sat in his chair a little more, maybe we wouldn't be at war in Iraq. Perhaps if dictators throughout history had been issued La-Z-Boy Barca-loungers with full massage, the past wouldn't be so full of bloody massacres.

Why are we dressing down people for seat time? How many famous chairpersons have there been? Chairman Mao comes to mind. Now you may not like the guy, but you can't say he didn't do anything. And when that Democratic US Senator got sick, everyone fell all over themselves wondering who would chair all those committees.

Think of the benefits this concept has for polygamists, guys with women too young for them, or extremely dedicated TV aficionados. Why take Viagra? Tell your girlfriends and wives you've put in your "bed-time," and bring flowers from the all-night deli one of these days, maybe.

By paying the lowest wage in the area, hiring virtually anyone who met sub-minimum standards, getting waivers to hire people who couldn't pass basic competency exams, conducting intergalactic searches, and hiring via 800-numbers, this mayor has demonstrated that he does not much care who teaches kids in New York. By pressuring teachers to pass kids for the act of sitting, he's given us a very good idea of how much he cares what they do or do not learn.

And now, mayors across the country are vying to follow in his footsteps. Remarkable.

How much do you value "seat-time?" How much stock do you want your students and children to put in this idea?

Thanks to Norm
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