And circumstances that undermine even the most pollyannish of parents' ability to maintain the self deception that is "MY child is getting a great education".
To what do we owe this revelation revolution? Well, it seems that someone decided to make an accurate count of high school graduates and it turns out our school systems not only cheat on standardized tests, they cheat on published statistics. But the systems' spinmeisters are already hard at work.
Suppose the previous, albeit bogus, stat claimed a 75% graduation rate, but it is now revealed to be an accurate 50%. The spinmeisters will state that the rate dropped by one third. There are a couple of problems with that.
- The first claim was bogus. It is an unadulterated bald-faced lie. There can be nothing more reprehensible than our employees, our elected officials, our educators, lying straight faced to taxpayers.
- Since the first claim is bogus, the proper way to view the "change" is to recognize the lie and calculate its magnitude. Given the actual rate was 50% all along, they lied by 50% (as 75 is 50% larger than 50). Round these parts they call that a "whopper".
So the spinmeisters can be expected to turn up the heat well beyond mere twists of arithmetic. Mobility will certainly rear its head, even uglier than before. Expect charges of "Dummy Dumping" between schools and districts. Or just round up the usual demographics--it's all their fault. But not the demographic most readily characterized as having "parental involvement"--that is the one keeping graduation rates from falling to zero.
And parents will fall all over themselves to believe that there is a rock their child hides under. That they are part of the select few, the elite that navigate the treacherous waters of this odious system. Anything less than shouting at the top of their lungs about how great an education their child is getting would beg the question "and what are you going to do about it?" when their only answer is "nothing". They are not going give up the nice car, the mani-pedi's, the ski trips or the cruises to pay private school tuition. It is too easy to drink the Koolaid. Too easy to swim in the deep waters of denial.
That leaves the taxpayer holding the bag. The kind of bag often found burning on a front porch right after the doorbell rings. Well the bell has rung, and apparently no one is at home.