Friday, April 22, 2005

The Rotten to the Core .40 Curriculum

Indiana Governor Mitch "The Godfather" Daniels has announced this week that his chief educational policy enforcers intend to roll out their new rigorous high school curriculum for Indiana in 2006.

Mitch Daniels was recently quoted in the Indianapolis Star as revealing, "the best business textbook I ever read was The Godfather." The Star was unable to confirm whether or not the Governor has actually read any other book.

Returning from the National Governor's Conference and Mafia convention, the "Don" announced that Indiana's high school curriculum needs to become more challenging. Quickly moving to the front of the line of all the other lemmings, the Governor raced off the cliff to be the first to announce a new rigorous high school curriculum modeled after his favorite business "textbook."

The Godfather's chief educational policy enforcer, Don David Shame reported, "Starting in 2006, Indiana's high schoolers will have to pass the new and improved "Rotten to the Core .40 Curriculum." Replacing the former Core 40 academic curriculum, the new "Rotten to the Core .40" curriculum is patterned after the "school of hard knocks" philosophy."

Shame distributed information outlining some of the proposed courses.

Rotten to the Core .40 Courses

Modern Bootlegging: How to make pharmaceuticals work for you
12 Uses for the Baseball Bat: It won't earn you a letter in baseball, but it will make you a better swinger
12 Uses for the Carving Knife: It's not exactly Home Economics, and I wouldn't eat what you cook, but it will make you a real cut-up.
Meth Lab 101: It's not exactly the FFA but you will learn to use the same ingredients
The Art and Science of Equestrian Amputation: You will learn to use your head, or at least their heads, to get ahead
Rolling the Dice: How to stop gambling on your gambling profit
Nepotism: How to hire your cousin Guido and keep it in the family
Strong Arming the Opposition (or your own political party for that matter): It won't earn you a letter in wrestling, but you'll still learn to take 'em down

Shame stated, "We are real excited about the new curriculum opportunities. We believe this will be a real step-up for Indiana's high schoolers. Since there are always a handful of them that aspire to be gang-bangers, they might as well learn to do it right."

He added, "This should meet the needs of NCLB (No Corruption Left Behind) and keep the feds and Margaret Smellings off our back."

Thursday, April 21, 2005


PRESS RELEASE: November 20, 2015

In 2015, Indiana's newly seated Governor, Ms. Ima Reel Liberal, started her first day in office by signing a record number of execution orders (Whoops..I mean executive orders). The previous record for execution orders was held by former Godfather Governor Mitch Daniels.

Execution Order #1: Reverses Daniels order barring state employees from unionizing. Requires unionization of all state employees under AFL/CIO and all non-union members to pay their "fair-share" of union dues or they will be shot.

Execution Order #2: Requires the establishment of an Office of Inspector General Cluseau to look into allegations of waste and fraud in the state's executive branch. Wait..Godfather Mitch already ordered that one. At least Inspector Cluseau will know where to look now.

Execution Order#3: Terminates all further legislation on daylight savings time. Forever. Or until next session, whichever comes first. Hoosiers have enough trouble telling time. (Every Superintendent has actually heard this one....."What time does the bus come on a two-hour delay?")

Execution Order#4: Puts a 120 day moratorium on all construction projects except multi-billion dollar projects for professional football teams. Whoops...wait..Don Daniels already ordered that one too.

Execution Order #5: Terminates all government committees, task forces and study groups. Whoops .. Mitch ordered that one too.

Execution Order #6: Replaces the governor's rectangular desk with a small, individual, round table.

Execution Order #7: Requires all decisions in the state to be made by the governor's round table.

Execution Order #8: Requires all pencils to be used until the lead reaches the little metal band holding the eraser together. Godfather Mitch pretty much required this in his earlier days. No kidding!

Execution Order #9: Requires all the state's trains to run on time, just like Germany before WWII.

End of Executive orders

Governor Liberal appeared excited about her first official acts as Governor.

She stated, "I am looking forward to building on what Governor Daniels established. He pretty much set the standard for consolidating power in the state house and creating a cult of efficiency. This sets the stage for our regime and sets a precedent for us to follow. Mitch was more of a Napolean Blown-a-part, but I am more of a Stalinist to tell you the truth."

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels admits he would lie, steal, cheat or put a dead horse head in your bed, in order to get what he wants

Well, not exactly, but almost. In the Indy Star, Indiana Republican Governor Mitch Daniels was quoted as saying "the best business textbook I ever read was The Godfather."

This article is very interesting. The Governor's staff is very carefully crafting an image of the governor as a no-nonsense CEO in charge of state government. This is supposed to impress everyone.

Republicans need to be careful.

They may actually get what they think they want - highly efficient state government using a business model.

Highly effective American companies are not democracies. They are benevolent dictatorships. They work because they are free to operate in a capitalistic but democratic government operated by messy, cumbersome checks and balances that keep the sways in power from being too erratic. Most Americans tend to be pragmatists and moderates and not very tolerant of severe swings in any direction.

I don't think our American forefathers ever envisioned a government at any level that was designed to be highly efficient in a business model. Try to imagine something worse than a highly powerful and highly efficient government that has views the polar opposite of what yours are. Do Americans REALLY want efficient government using a business model? Or do you want checks and balances that provide stability for the nation?

Or do you want to wake up with a bleeding horse head in your bed?

It worked for The Godfather and it got things done - I'll give Mitch that.

Stay tuned. Coming soon - a satire piece starring the The Godfather Governor.

Monday, April 18, 2005

The elephant in the living room

I have been told that in therapy circles they describe "the elephant in the living room" as the family denial of the individual with the alcohol problem. Just going through the motions every day and pretending that it doesn't exist. Meanwhile, the elephant is passed out in the corner.

You want to know what the "elephant in the living room" is in education? It's the denial of almost everyone, of the general effect on student achievement that comes from families who raise their children in the culture of poverty. It's not that we deny that it completely exists, it's just that we believe that it doesn't matter. We have an overwhelming optimistic belief that good schooling can prevail over bad parenting. That's because we have seen it happen, and therefore we believe that it can happen on a large scale. It's the large scale part that I am pessimistic about.

There are plenty of success stories of poor and disadvantaged children who made it, but there are millions who don't. Schools can and should continue to raise expectations and efforts to meet the needs of all kids. But let's face a cold hard truth.

It is much easier for good parenting to overcome bad schooling than it is for good schooling to overcome bad parenting!

There are no excuses for either bad parenting or bad schooling, but stuff happens. If educators try to explain this we are accused of being defensive at best and obstructionists at worst.

Bill Cosby recently tried to take on the "elephant." In some cases he was nearly trampled, but he has clearly struck up a chord among black America by no longer pretending it doesn't exist.

Take the time to read this article in City Journal. It might not please the person who thinks a government program will do the trick, but it discusses pretty thoroughly the differences between the parenting strategies used in homes of advantage and those used in homes of disadvantage.

And it points out that erasing the first four years of bad parenting through schooling is extremely difficult and not a very high percentage affair.