December 10, 2007

The Not-So-Suprising Conclusion of Once Upon a Time in Kansas City

(Continued from Part One)

The wizard Clark waited for his creation to cook.

He waited.

And, he waited.

He waited for five long years--the amount of time his grand vizier told him it would take for the plan to work.

The grand vizier told the wizard to have patience.

So, the wizard waited some more. Patiently.

The wizard waited seven more years. And his patience began to wear thin.

The wizard had followed the grand vizier's plan to the letter. The wizard had spent more gold on the school district of Kansas City than any city had spent before. He had improved the buildings, provided lavish educational resources, bussed in magic aura kids and harnessed their power, provided full day kingergarten, provided day care and before and after school activities. He had increased teacher salaries by 40% across the board, reduced teaching loads, implemented Montessori-like elementary schools, and reduced class sizes to lower than they had ever been.

In short, he had done it all--everything the high priest of Kozol had recommended, nay, had assured him would work.

And, yet test scores remained were they had been for so many years--below state norms. Finally, the wizard order a full accounting from his advisor. The verdict: The wizard's plan hadn't "changed any of the measurable outcomes."

The wizard looked upon the grand vizier with disgust. The grand vizier smiled meekly and began to suggest something he called Universal PreSkool that he assured the wizard ....

A bolt of lightning shot from the wizard's wand and the high priest was reduced to a small pile of chalk dust.

The wizard was now enraged.

Twelve years, two billion dollars, and nothing to show for it. The wizard prepared to cast an even more powerful spell of taxation when nine even more powerful wizards from the court of Rehnquist appeared to put and end to the wizard's nonsense. The nine smote the wizard Clark who was forced to flee Kansas City and lifted the wizard's spell of taxation.

But the wizard fled, he took revenge on all the people of the Kingdom by placing a curse which made them forget the lessons of Kansas City and doomed them to repeat the mistakes over and over in perpetuity.

The wizard, however, saved his best curse for the high priest of Kozol--the NCLB curse--which eventually drove the high priest mad, whereupon the priest lived his remaining days in a state of of partial fast subsisting entirely on a diet of vanilla lattes.

There was no happy ending. For anyone.

Tomorrow the moral of thes tory.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm a teacher. I just moved from KC to Chicago. I amazed this hasn't received wider discussion. All I hear about is "educational equity." It's not about money...