Friday, March 14, 2014

"Mansplaining Reformy Stuff"

Listen, honey, I know it's all very confusing and there's a lot to take in. But don't worry your pretty little head about it. Let me explain the whole what they like to call narrative of school reform.

Back in my day, schools were great. You learned what you needed to learn and as soon as you got out, you were ready to get a job. It wasn't easy-- nosirree-- but we weren't afraid of hard work. I put myself through college working twelve different jobs. Didn't sleep for three and a half years.

But somewhere in the years since I graduated, schools went to pot. Damn teachers unions made it so you couldn't fire someone for being gay or a commie. We started caring how kids feel. What the hell? Nobody cared how I felt! All this nurturing and coddling and babying and recess and food for poor kids and talking about bullying like it's a bad thing-- hell, I was bullied, and it made a man out of me. Go to any school in the country and all you see are a bunch of little children.

And you could see it start to affect the whole country. Unemployment up, Chinese kicking our asses, jobs going to India, and getting beat on these damn whatchamacallit international testy things. No, I don't know how we used to do, and I don't need to look it up. No damn Estonian ever outscored me and my buddies on a test, I can tell you that.

No, the problem is that the country is filling up with lazy stupid people, people who don't have the sense to listen to us who know better.

The whole school system is sloppy and slack and messy. And waste of money?? Billions of dollars just going to waste on teachers and pencils and feely-weely programs. My buddies and I would look and say, "Hell, if that was my business I'd run it a hell of a lot better and make a chunk of change at the same time."

So we figured out how to do it. First we made them cough up the data. In my business, if you can't put it on a spreadsheet, it doesn't matter. At first it looked like reducing education to numbers would be hard, but we just had them measure what was measurable. It doesn't matter. We already knew schools were failing. We just had to prove it.

And once we had the proof, we could start shaping it up. We needed to chase people out of public schools into our private and charter schools. That was easier once we owned all the tests. We give the tests that prove schools are failing AND we make them pay to take them AND we make them pay to try to get ready for them. THAT got the money train running. But that was just with NCLB.

Somebody had the bright idea-- what if we didn't just own the tests, but we owned the standards? What if we could make every school teach what we told them to, and then made them pay us to say if they did it okay or not? We'd own the whole supply chain!

Charter schools are great. We control the actual product there. We can hire and fire teachers on the cheap. At first we thought we'd have to break the teacher unions to cut costs, but we figured out how to work around them-- God bless TFA. That's how teaching should work-- high turnover, low training, easily replaced, and cheap-- just like a McDonald's franchise. And the government should pump money into charters-- we're a better business model. Getting the union to shut up-- easy. Everybody likes money, and we have lots of money to get the right people heard and the rest silenced.

And really-- teachers are a big part of the problem. They suck. They are lazy. They could never survive in the real world. They don't know the first thing about education, and what they do know they won't use. They're a whiny bunch of girls-- literally, a big bunch of girls. Schools could be so much better if teachers would just start committing themselves to teaching, but they just don't care. We are hoping that with enough threats we can get them to start working. And if they won't, we'll replace them. It's not like it's that hard to find someone who can do the job. Particularly once we've idiot-proofed it. Ideally, you just need a warm body to stand there and deliver the program that you've bought from one of our vendors. That way everybody in every classroom will get the exact same results.

It's not just that we wanted to get great ROI-- this was also about straightening out the country. Kids have it too easy, too coddled-- they're too wimpy. Honey, let's face it-- our whole culture is just womanized. Americans just need to man up, grow a pair, get some grit-- and there's no reason it can't start when they're little. They're mostly failures, and they need to hear that. Makes a man step up to the plate when he hears he's a failure.And if he won't step up, then he deserves to fall into the gutter.

Government has been a big help. It's a pain to have to market something to a thousand different customers who want a thousand different things. With the feds to make everybody fall in line, we just need one line of marketing and the feds insure that we're basically selling to just one huge customer. And their work on making every kid's information available in one big on-line database?? That is going to pay off big time in the years ahead. Do you know how much easier it will be to hire the right guy when we can see everything back to his three-year-old pooping schedule?

All you girls just need to get over all this crap you're whining about. Can you see how much money we're making from this? I'm not sure you understand-- we're not greedy, but all that money proves that we're dead right. People only end up rich if they deserve to. The only way to get rich is work hard and play the game, and the only way to know that you're getting your life right is to check finances. Does being poor suck? Sure-- it's supposed to. That's how you get the motivation to stop being poor. Don't like being poor? Then stop being poor.

We can start that lesson in pre-K. Don't like failure? Then suck it up and work harder.

Honey, listen to the people in charge. They wouldn't be in charge if they weren't rich, and they wouldn't be rich if they didn't deserve to be.

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