Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cockroaches Infest Our Schools

Did you ever have one of those roommates whose tolerance for mess, if not downright filth, far exceeded your own? The kind of roomy who never takes out the garbage, who piles dirty dishes in the sink without even a rinse? Someone rarely burdened with the need for soap?

If you did, did you also enjoy that life-altering event that so often is part of the total package? You know the one: when you get up in the middle of the night for a glass of water, go to the kitchen, turn on the lights, only to see what must be hundreds of cockroaches, of every size, ability and socio-ethnic background, scatter to the four walls?

You have?


Now to answer the inevitable question: "what does this have to do with our schools---are you saying the cafeteria is infested?" No, dear reader, this is not about cafeteria food nor will it explain why the cornbread is so often crunchy.

This is about educators, parents, and testing. The recent testing scandals which threatened to expose the public school sham has nearly blown over and as bad as it may appear to the casual observer, the real problem has been adeptly obfuscated.

So let's explore this analogy.

Consider that the tests which public school apologists and propagandists have demonized are the light. And it is a diffuse but bright light, casting no shadow and leaving no dark corner.

And the cockroaches, well, those are our self-congratulatory educators. They are the teachers, principals, administrators, board members and "colleges of education" manufacturing the aforementioned, who feast on each morsel of denial cast off by parents who cannot, or more often simply will not, do what is right. It is these parents who are the filthy roommates creating a rich habitat for vermin.

These are also the roommates that will declare you a neat-freak, a neurotic who needs to lighten up. They may even blame the light, for without it there is no visible problem. Some will even go as far as to justify the roaches, claiming they fill a vital role in our ecosystem.

And the roaches are doing what roaches do, getting fat dining on what should not even be there and making more roaches.

And what are we, the responsible roommate, to do? For far too long we've avoided the inevitable confrontation with the roommate. We've left the light off, or worse, simply gone after what we want, ignoring the mess until it becomes unbearable, then doing only a hasty, superficial cleanup. But now we are way over these roommates, the mess has gotten far too large to ignore and the vermin are a clear and present danger. It is time to act. We must call the exterminator, clean up the mess and show those filthy roommates the door.