Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Magic Filing Cabinet

One of the premise of reformster policy is the Myth of the Magic Cabinet.

Apparently most teachers in most schools have one-- a big secret filing cabinet, wrapped in camouflage and stuffed with fabulous lessons. These are magical lessons, amazing lessons, lessons that can turn the dullest student into a blinding beacon of wisdom and understanding. Exposure to these lessons would turn every student into college material, or at the very least, math whizzes and reading geniuses. These lessons would even erase all effects of learning and developmental disabilities. It is even rumored that they can make the dead rise and cure cancer.

And yet, the teachers who possess these magic filing cabinet refuse to use them.

Authorities are not certain why. Some suspect that the teachers are holding out for more cash. "I will open my magic filing cabinet," they say, "when I can make serious money from it. After all, I became a teacher in order to make serious money."

Other teachers reportedly say, "I just don't feel threatened enough. If my job were riding on it, I might open the magic filing cabinet, but I just can't really get interested in teaching unless I'm seriously threatened." (One wonders what sort of fearsome threats forced those individuals to go to teacher school in the first place.)

Of course, authorities don't believe all teachers have magic cabinets. They're pretty sure that some are just stupid, unable to teach or dress themselves or come in out the rain. Those teachers just need precise instructions to follow (which is frankly easier than cajoling them to open the magic filing cabinet).

But mostly reformsters recognize that teachers could teach all students well if they wanted to but that, like the members of some educational Illuminati, they have gone into the teaching profession to hide the secrets of education. That's why we must offer them the incentives of merit pay and the threats of accountability systems with no job protections. Because if we keep pushing them, maybe teachers will finally open their magic filing cabinets.


  1. I lost my magic file cabinet key, somewhere between the corner of Common Core Park, near the crossroads of Constant Testing Avenue, and Data Driven Instruction Road.

  2. I cast a spell of invisibility on my cabinet to keep it safe. Now I can't find it, even using my Romper Room magic mirror.