From fevered veins of angry teacher radsAnd such conceits as clownage keeps in payWe’ll lead you to the zealous halls of learningThere to hear our professors of education indulgeTheir fantasy in equal scale and appetiteTo the lofty stash of stolen public moneyThere to whip their impatient dream to shape
Or not, as your eyes see it.
A Shining City on the Hill
That which cannot be referenced in educational discourse, although it is the endpoint of our hubris.
Imagine all educational fantasists were given a blank cheque and the instruction to do everything they can to make education work for our disadvantaged children – as it should. Whatever the complaint or deficiency in our school system, fix it. Plan it deep, get the best, rack up optimism. Prove your arguments that disadvantage, and not culture or intelligence, or dare you think it, race, lies behind historical lack of achievement. At last enlightenment dreams meet political will: Individual PCs to take home, personal mentors, limitless resources, after school activities by the bucket-load, free breakfasts, free this, free that and the next thing, Olympic-size swimming pool? – you got it. Disadvantaged parents not forgotten either with vouchers galore for everything, excepting alcohol. Every incentive dreamed by man or god made manifest in this one place. Failure was made impossible by this power of righteous imagination married to educational science.
Spent, built, remodelled, recruited, encouraged, provided, indulged. And the result; a complete failure. A COMPLETE FAILURE by any metric. Well beyond the bounds of the darkest gainsayers. Indeed, outcomes were inversely proportional to expenditure. It has to be independently confirmed to be believed. Do so.
Of course, the meeting with reality only slightly set back the educational fantasists for their faith is made of sterner stuff. Perhaps they a missed heartbeat when faced with the ruin of their hopes, plans and literally the founding stock of their Utopian future. The lesson to them; there was no lesson to them! Their Jacobin attentions to the educational system were doubled down, the inconvenient fact silently, swiftly transited to the memory hole. Any who dared to mention it were,..well, you know what they were called! Institutional racism was apparently to blame, even for the blue on blue stabbings.
The lesson to us: our fantasist enemies do not operate in the rational realm. Their complaints and programmes (and pogroms) are not about fixing things, but breaking them. And us. And your children, who are not their children.
It is these parasite-professors and destroyer-activists and suchlike creatures that stand in the shadows behind too much of our educational ambitions.
You did not read this. You do not know about any such experiment. Nor do you want to. Is Kansas City even a place?
PS. And should they be required, apologies to Marlowe. Such thievery has its impulse from deepest admiration.