Jaywalking With LAUSD

Did you ever have the experience of thinking you heard something before, but you just couldn't quite place where and when you heard it? That's the way I have been feeling about the nondescript orwellian edspeak that all of us in public education continue to be tormented with. And then, it finally occurred to me where the logic defying statements like "No Child Left Behind" and "all [illiterate] students are going to college" really come from. In 1979, Peter Sellars played an idiot savant -- emphasis on the idiot -- in the movie Being There. Chance the Gardner has people ascribe to him great insight, when the simpler and more reasonable interpretation is that Chance the Gardner is just a moron.

The epiphany that LAUSD is being run by Chance the Gardner clones, who are not really bad as much as they are banal people, is a truth that is painful to accept when one realizes that in dealing with LAUSD leadership, there is no there there. For these folks heading LAUSD, their work is not a profession, but rather a job that it takes everything they have just to memorize the slogans they continue to repeat like a catachism where questions are followed by answers to be memorized, but please don't have any expectation that these public education leaders actually understand what the hell they are talking about. This ah ha moment explains why we here at perdaily find that the reforms posed by these intellectually challenged leaders at LAUSD rarely if ever address the problems in public education they are supposed to resolve.

LAUSD leadership has been put in place by those who are really in power in our society as a buffer between themselves and the masses, because LAUSD leadership is not fettered by intellectual curiosity or rigor, but rather are content to repeat the same answers as part of the same failed approach to education reform that would be intolerable to anybody with a brain. They are perfectly suited to taking no offense from the continued anger and failure generated by everything they propose, where a more educated person would find such a no-win job untenable.

If you doubt my assertion that LAUSD is run by Chance the Gardner clones, try the following experiment. Ask the administrator of your choice any one of the following questions with my assurances that the further up you go in the LAUSD food chain away from the classroom, the less likely the administrator you pose the question to will be able to answer it:

1. When was the Civil War? 
2. Who is Henry David Thoreau 
3. What rights are protected under the 1st Amendment to the American Constitution? 
4. Who is buried in Grant's Tomb?

What you will discover is that their is a striking similarity between what the failing students in LAUSD don't know and the administrators who are supposed to assure student educational mastery. It might also dawn on you that the prideful ignorance of LAUSD leadership serves as a pretty reasonable answer as to why LAUSD continues to fail. Furthermore, it also explains why anybody who proposes a different approach to this long failed system is immediately savaged by people who have no pride of workmanship in what they do for a living and could care less if they succeed as long as the checks keep coming in. All these folks at LAUSD fervently hope for is that they can make it to the nirvana of retirement before somebody realizes just how much they don't know and just how over their heads they are.

It doesn't take much to take the dialogue of Peter Sellars as Chance the Gardner from Being There and make it work for LAUSD:

Chance: "As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden."

Ray the Cortines: "As long as the roots of education are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in education at LAUSD when all our students go to college in furtherance of their potential."


05 2010

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