Skip to comments.Education: Waiting For Lewis Black
Posted on 01/16/2012 4:15:43 PM PST by BruceDeitrickPrice
[This is the entire article:] According to a movie and book that came out in 2010, everyone is Waiting For Superman.
That would be the heroic, miraculous, too-good-to-be-true school that will swoop down into even the worst neighborhoods and rescue all those bad-luck kids.
Me, Im not counting on Superman. Public schools are too weird. The Man of Steel will look foolish fighting to the death against silly putty.
To speak truth about this demented demimonde, we need a voice, a mind, a way of thinking as deranged as the system itself.
We need Lewis Black. You know him, of course. Hes the quintessential angry comic. On stage he appears to be having a seizure. His hands tremble upward in gestures of helpless rage. Spit seems to fly from his mouth as he hurls bombs made of bitterness. Its easy to imagine him chomping off these insults:
KIDS CANT READ THEIR DIPLOMAS. THEY CANT FIND THIS COUNTRY ON A MAP. YOURE TEACHING THEM WHAT?? NO, YOURE TEACHING THEM NOTHING. YOU ARE KEEPING THEM EMPTY-HEADED. AND STUFFING THEM IN A DEEP HOLE AND PAVING IT OVER WITH ASPHALT MADE FROM CHOPPED UP ENCYCLOPEDIAS. AND WHATS THAT YOURE SAYING TO THEM?? BYE-BYE, SUCKERS!!!
Here he might shake and shudder all over, a trademark gesture of disgust. Lewis Black--his style, his comedy, the way his mind functions--is the perfect counterpoint to the bogosity shown by our Education Establishment. There are many thousands of these so-called experts, all gaudily festooned with degrees and titles. But Lewis Black could be their avenging-angel equal:
YOU ASK ME, KIDS MUST KNOW THE NAMES OF THE OCEANS. BUT NOOOO. OUR SUPERINTENDENTS AND PRINCIPALS ASK WHY, WHY WOULD CHILDREN NEED SUCH INFORMATION?? WELLLLL, HOW ABOUT BECAUSE THEY ARE HUMAN. THEY ARE ALIVE!!!!!!!. BECAUSE KIDS ARE NOT VEGETABLES. NOT TOMATOES GROWING ON A VINE. THEY ARE THE FUTURE OF THE COUNTRY. AND THEY DONT KNOW THE NAMES OF THE OCEANS THAT WASH AGAINST OUR SHORES. BLA-BLA-BLANKETTY-BLAH.
Lewis Black doesnt look healthy. Hes been on dark journeys to hell and back. He probably smokes and drinks too much. His mind has been poked and strobed by too many titanically terrible experiences. But now hes back from the dread, to tell us the low-down on our intellectual slow-down:
THIS BOY IS IN COLLEGE. HES IN A FRATERNITY. HE HAS A DRIVERS LICENSE AND OWNS A CAR AND CAN VOTE. BUT HE CANT TELL YOU WHAT 6 x 7 IS. WHERES A CALCULATOR??? HES IN SCHOOL 12 YEARS BEFORE COLLEGE. HE DOESNT KNOW WHAT 6 X 7 IS! THINK ABOUT THIS FOR THREE SECONDS AND YOUR EYES WILL ROLL LIKE CHERRIES IN A SLOT MACHINE. SON-OF-A-BARBIE DOLL!
Now his own eyes are rolling, side to side, then back in his head. Black will probably topple over and flatline on the stage. No, he rights himself as he gazes almost idiotically at the audience. Assembling, as if they were a giant jigsaw puzzle, his thoughts. His head twitches on an unsteady stalk. His whole body spasms with indignation, like some Manhattan cabbie cursing a dumb-ass tourist:
I HAVE TO TELL YOU, ALL THIS CRAPADODDLEDO ABOUT HOW TO FIX THE SCHOOLS?...SOMEBODY IS LAUGHING AT YOU. THE KIDS CANT COUNT. THEY CANT READ. BUT SOMEHOW ITS ALWAYS SOMEBODY ELSES FAULT. NOT THE PEOPLE RUNNING THE SCHOOLS. NOT ONE BIT. THEY JUST PULL ALL THE STRINGS, WRITE ALL THE LAWS, CREATE ALL THE POLICIES. BUT SOMEHOW YOU KNOW WHOSE FAULT IT IS, SOME NICE WELFARE MOTHER IN QUEENS. ITS ALL HER FAULT. ITS SOME EIGHT-YEAR-OLDS FAULT BECAUSE HE PLAYED A VIDEO GAME. SURE IT IS!
Now Black is pacing like a tiger on meth, ten steps to our left, eight steps back the other way. Can he hold himself together? Will he explode like that cant-stop-eating guy in Monty Python? Pieces of Lewis Black ten rows out, but people are screaming with joy!!
THESE KIDS CANT READ A CEREAL BOX. THEY CANT READ A SIGN ON THE STREET. WHO THE HELL IS IN CHARGE OF READING??? THE ADDAMS FAMILY? F TROOP? PEOPLE WHO WANT TO PULL THE SWITCH ON DEATH ROW, BUT CANT PASS THE IQ TEST???? WHO IS IN CHARGE OF READING? TRUMP HAS A LOVE NOTE FOR YOU. READY? YOURE FIRED.
Now Black is making noises like a venting whale. Good, hes not exploding after all. Oooops, but he is going to projectile-vomit on the people in the front row. Ohmiiigod...At the last second he pulls back from the abyss and demands to know:
IS IT THE FAULT OF THE PARENTS? OF COURSE IT IS! ESPECIALLY THOSE PARENTS WHO ARE GUILTY OF WANTING THEIR KIDS TO KNOW HOW TO READ AND COUNT. THE UNGRATEFUL BASTARDS!!!! THEY DONT APPRECIATE THE POINT OF BEING DUMBED DOWN. THESE STUPID MIDDLEBROW PARENTS WANT THEIR KIDS TO KNOW THE NAMES OF THE OCEANS. WHATS THE MATTER WITH THEM??
Lewis Black is shaking all over, flinching, twisting, turning 180 degrees at a jerk. He advances to the front of the stage, a crazed Old Testament prophet. Surely he is going to put a curse on the world. Its the worst of times and the worst of times, and Black knows why:
WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU DUMB SCHMUCKS? THEY ARE PLAYING YOU FOR CHUMPS. THEY SHOWED YOU A CAR THAT WONT RUN AND YOU BEGGED TO PAY $80,000 FOR IT. YOULL BE PAYING FOR IT UNTIL YOU DIE. YOUR KIDS WILL BE PAYING FOR IT UNTIL THEY DIE...
I HEARD WE NEED VOLUNTEERS FOR A NEW COLONY ON MARS. I VOLUNTEER THE PEOPLE RUNNING OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM. OFF THEY GO! BYE-BYE! DONT BOTHER US ANYMORE. WELL LET YOU KNOW WHEN YOU CAN COME BACK. GROUND CONTROL TO WORLD CLASS TWITS. YOU WANT SOME MORE KIDS TO MESS UP, FIND THEM ON MARS. HAHA.
Bruce Deitrick Price is an author, artist, poet, and education reformer. For savvy analysis of education issues, see his site Improve-Education.org. All portions of the fictional scenario starring Lewis Black are by Price. (Price is also waiting for Denis Leary, Chris Rock, Carlos Mencia, and Bobby Collins, for a start.)
ARTICLE AS IT APPEARS ON RIGHTSIDENEWS
Once those children learn that no matter what they do, they will not be flunked, expelled, or disciplined in any way that really impacts them ("Oooo, another Time Out, oh no") then you begin to appreciate the problem.
And who put us in this position? In part, the parents. Their kids are always angels. Their kids are always right. Their kids must not be disciplined, overworked, upset in any way. Of course, some of it is also the educational establishment's move toward the whole Self-Esteem pit. But the fact is, if I don't follow district mandates, the district rarely finds out. But if I anger some kid's parents, boy, they'll be down there screaming their heads off right away.
I’m a teacher & THANK YOU for that most truthful post! Those of you not in the school system cannot even imagine. There really are no words to express what a horror show public education is; especially in a poverty defined district. The money spewed out would make your head spin & never stop.
“There are many thousands of these so-called experts, all gaudily festooned with degrees and titles.”
This one is a big problem. There are truckloads of people out there with no real function save to come up with unworkable, impossible and irrelevant theories about teaching, and make their money doing research, which they usually gather data from either student surveys, or from reading the fraudulent work of failed psychologists.
“According to a movie and book that came out in 2010, everyone is Waiting For Superman.”
I’ll settle for the return of Logic, Pursuit of Excellence, Student Promotion Based on Merit, and Discipline. I expect I would see the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse first...
Yes. Budgeting itself is a nightmare. This year we’ve seen our janitor staff cut from 16 to 5, but they had money to buy a bunch of iPads that the kids will ruin by June. I know the money isn’t coming from the same place, but it still drives me nuts. I have 38 kids in one of my English classes, but we’ve given over classrooms to motivational hangers-on whose jobs are quite unclear to me. They’re rationing xerox paper and sending us to pointless trainings and buying new programs and giving up on the ones they bought 2 years ago. Not long ago in a staff meeting I just flipped out and started ranting about how all I wanted was XEROX PAPER AND XEROX MACHINES THAT WORK ALL THE TIME!
You work in the LAUSD, right? How are you coping with the homosexual indoctrination mandate that has been foisted on public school teachers?
If I were king, everyone who works for the DOE, state BOE’s and teachers union officials would all go on the B Ark with the telephone sanitizers and management consultants.
Two years later they started sending us to Concept Lesson training, different stories, different schedule, different assignments, and told "Teach this instead." BUT... they still give you the old textbook every year. Along with the new workbooks.
Then the district embraces Project Based Learning, whole new agenda, and we're to adapt our curriculum to that. BUT... they still give you the old textbook and the new workbooks.
Getting the picture? It's one big madhouse.
Are you sure that you don’t live in MY district???? Tomorrow is another all in service day. They have a team of all black women from the delta who came in at the beginning of the year & told us how we needed to remove our rose colored glasses. I have all ready called in sick. There is some crap that I am NOT going to take anymore!
Hang in there!!!!
Oh, that sounds very dreary. My area is about 99% Hispanic, and they aren’t as hostile. Gangs and drugs are a problem, and the administration can be pretty Kumbayah-ish, but it’s not this angry, edgy tone that you’re experiencing.
NB: I don’t talk much about teachers. They do not make policy.
I’m only concerned with the ed bosses at the top. Bad Boys.
Thanks BruceDeitrickPrice. Too bad LB is an a-hole.
Government out of the education business,
Business in the education business, there I fixed it.
Sounds typical of a big public school system.