Note: this was the first post I wrote on a blog site I dedicated solely to education. And just in case you don’t know: all the things I feared are more true now.
I started this blog intending to write about education issues regularly. For a long time, I’ve been in the front lines in urban education, then in the vortex of urban education reform–I thought I had something to say.
Then all hell broke loose in educational reform, and the inmates started running the asylum. There’s no shortage of words, no contemplative silence while people seek wisdom. There’s not even a common vocabulary for identifying and discussing the issues. George Orwell’s “doublespeak” has come to pass in ways he couldn’t have predicted.
In times like this, I start looking to literature for comfort and answers. The greats often provide perspective; The Beatles “Fool on A Hill” and Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall,” gave me some ideas and options, for instance. Jesus clearing the temple from the moneychangers seems like an equally appealing model.
Then my class read MacBeth and heard Sir Patrick Stewart offer this observation: “….it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” (MacBeth Act V, scene 5).
There are fools on the Hill–and in the statehouse. And even more people are offering tales full of sound and fury–no meaning, nothing that helps address the real issues in our classrooms and cafeterias–nothing that addresses the real crises in our governmental budgets and priorities.
But still they talk–the politicians and media mavens, the philanthropists and businessmen, strutting and fretting their hours onstage like the poor player MacBeth disdains.
I don’t have answers, and I’m not sure I know the questions, but it’s time that I start talking. As Fox Mulder asserted, “The truth is out there.” It’s getting lost in a tsunami of hyperbole. I’m a teacher who deals primarily with poor minority teens–kids who are becoming more marginalized, more stigmatized, and more disheartened; at this point, those words describe their teachers, too.
I’m tired of giving the fools and idiots the power. It’s my turn. Stay tuned.