Give me an F

By AL DIAMON  |  May 23, 2013

I have no idea what that means, but I suspect it'll consist of assessments of so many aspects of schooling that every district can be assured of some positive grades (biology teacher exceeds state average for amount of visible dandruff, morning announcements deemed 30 percent less dull than a year ago, athletic department upgraded to acceptable level after school board votes that huffing glue will no longer be a varsity sport). Everybody wins. Self-esteem reaches an all-time high.

Also, illiteracy.

In the end, neither set of school rankings will do anything to improve education. LePage will use his grades to advance his agenda of providing alternatives to public schools. He'll say the lousy scores justify the need for charter schools, virtual charter schools, expanded school choice, and taxpayer money for private schools. If he's successful in passing all that, it'll weaken public education to the point where it'll collapse. No great loss, unless you happen to be poor and can't afford the alternatives.

Meanwhile, the Dems will point to their collection of rapidly improving grades to bolster their claim that there's no need for alternatives to schools staffed by the union members of the Maine Education Association. They'll try to squeeze funding for other educational choices until such enterprises are no longer financially viable. In the case of virtual schools and public funding of religious institutions, that'll cause no significant harm. But forcing out charters designed for exceptional students will assure us of a generation well prepared for mediocrity.

At least, thanks to laptops, they'll be able to type. Because I could really use a secretary. ^

Grade my performance by emailing aldiamon@herniahill.net.

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