Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Hungry for Knowledge?

I hope so, because you're not getting lunch today.
It's not convenient to make space for you, so Mayor Mike is sending you to science lab instead.

Mayor Mike's glitzy Children First brochure does not specifically mention the effects of hunger on education. It does not mention the value of public schools built on toxic sites, or multi-million dollar boondoggles for private schools either. It fails to mention the value of forgetting to add dropouts to graduation rates.

Oddly, it neglects to mention intergalactic recruitment, the highest class sizes in the state, the lowest standard for teachers in the state, or the all-too-common practice of sweeping incidents under the rug (while maintaining a public insistence that they be reported).

It does not mention that teachers are 100% responsible for everything that happens in schools, and that neither the mayor, the chancellor, the dilapidated facilities, the home lives of kids, the weather, or hunger (in the case of science students) play any role whatsoever in performance. At least that's what Deputy Chancellor Alonso publicly proclaims.

They must have forgotten that the very best facilities the city has to offer are reserved for charters run by billionaires.

It neglects the mayor's practice of closing schools in the face of unconscionable overcrowding, or taking perfectly good buildings like the one on Livingston Street, and turning them into condos. After all, who's to say the contaminated land isn't good enough for city kids? As Barbara Bush might say, "This is working very well for them." Certainly home buyers, Dalton kids, and billionaires who run charters and build stadiums are accustomed to better.

It's Children First, Children First, and Children First if you read the smiley-face pamphlet. Unlike the mayor and the chancellor, though, I see those children each and every day. The kids aren't fooled at all.

Thanks to Schoolgal
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