That’s What I Call|Teacher Accountability

     In the old days in Tenochtitlan, if a commoner appeared drunk in public, the Aztecs strangled him, and his parents, and every teacher he ever had, for failing to bring him up right.
     Talk about teacher accountability.
     Only the Tlatoani and his Cihuatlatoani – the emperor and his main squeeze – were allowed to get drunk in the good old days.
     The Aztecs were so barbaric that they had no national Congress, like we do – which treats education pretty much the same way the Aztecs did.
     I wrote last week about Congress’s ridiculous Common Core standards, and the bogus No Child Left Behind law, which were designed to take tax money away from poor children and shower it upon corrupt charter schools, whose students are overwhelmingly white and evangelical.
     No matter. America seems to like our No Poor Child Left Without a Swatted Behind law, whose focus is punitive: Don’t spend money on “failing” schools. Close them. Fire the black teachers and principals. Bus the kids into white districts, where they’re sure to be treated … umm …
     U.S. education policy is a travesty. It has been precisely designed to rob poor colored children of the chance of being well-educated in their own neighborhoods.
     As the late, great Al Smith said, “Let’s look at the record.”
     Congress’s reaction to a century of corruption in defense contracts was to throw more money at the Pentagon.
     Congress’s reaction to decades of torture, corruption, rape, murder and drug-smuggling by Border Patrol officers was to triple the Border Patrol force, increase their pay, hire thousands more of them with inadequate background checks, and give them less training – to throw money at the Border Patrol.
     Congress’s reaction to U.S. corporations that pay figurehead board members jillions of dollars a year was to give the corporations billions of dollars in tax breaks, if the fat cats’ corrupt and incompetent corporations can’t keep up with Japan or Europe.
     And what was Congress’s reaction to our supposedly “failing schools”?
     Was it to spend more money to hire good teachers?
     To buy computers that poor children can use?
     No, it was to blame the children, and their teachers, and the schools: to close schools in poor neighborhoods, to fire their teachers and principals, to bus the children into white neighborhoods where, we may assume, the government thinks it’s worth spending our money.
     I have a better idea.
     Any senator or congressman who proposes a plan to improve public education by funneling tax dollars away from public schools into private schools should be asked to provide proof that his or her plan would work.
     If he or she cannot provide this proof, he should be strangled in public, preferably on Fox TV.
     The congressman’s wife and children and teachers and employers and campaign contributors and all the corporate CEOs who gave him money should be strangled too.
     Maybe not all on Fox.
     Let’s be fair.
     We don’t have to televise all of the executions, but all of these congressmen and senators should be punished, unless they can provide any argument based in reality – any proof at all – that their plans have a base in the real world.
     Children can’t vote. So Congress for a generation has been using poor kids as masturbatory tools for political gain.
     Poor children of color are brought up today knowing that there’s no point in voting.
     I can’t blame them.
     It might not be strictly legal, or constitutional, to execute congressmen on national TV, but hey, the states and our police forces do it to poor kids every day.
     Why not you and me, to congressmen?
     (Robert Kahn is deputy under assistant secretary of the West Coast Region of the Republican Party’s Committee for Grammatical Reform.)

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