Tuesday, March 22, 2011

No Wonder I'm Paranoid

I am not shocked when a blog at The American Conservative hopes that Republican governors will continue their assault on teachers.  After all, every conservative takes as gospel that "school teachers, hardly represent a cross-section of the country on social and cultural issues. They are well to the left of most of the population."  And, of course, we don't have enough to do as we try to teach history, math, science, or English; therefore, only a dupe would believe "that union-faithful teachers favor educating the young in some value-free manner."  I would be remiss in my blogging duties if I did not mention that conservatives also take as gospel the assumption that every school limits itself to one or two token conservatives who are ritualistically mocked in the teachers' lounge.  In short, I expect conservatives to assert I'm out to turn their children into Marxist Muslim terrorists.

On the other hand, a Diane Ravitch editorial reminds Newsweek readers that "Obama has not sought to turn back NCLB. His own approach, called Race to the Top, is even more punitive than NCLB."  More frighteningly, Ravitch says,
The Obama agenda for testing, accountability, and choice bears an uncanny resemblance to the Republican agenda of the past 30 years, but with one significant difference. Republicans have traditionally been wary of federal control of the schools. Duncan, however, relishes the opportunity to promote his policies with the financial heft of the federal government.
So the right wants to use local and state government to make my life miserable, and the Democrats want to use the federal government to make my life miserable.

A couple of days ago I quoted  Adam Frank who wrote, "In poem or paean, in music or metaphor, in silent homage to whatever powers make sense to the heart in that moment, we may (or may not) find our way."  I can think of two small pieces of literature that fit the present situation.  Stanzas two and three of "The Charge of the Light Brigade" seem to fit the political situation, at least metaphorically.
 'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
Was there a man dismay'd ?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
. . .
Cannon to right of them
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd & thunder'd;
. . . .
The other is James 3:1 "Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly."  I always thought that passage was reserved for people who taught Sunday school.  I guess it applies to those of us who teach Monday through Friday school as well.

No comments: