In a surprise move to nobody Lil John King and Scary Meryl Tisch put their pointed heads together to announce the results of the "STFU We're Not Listening Tour." Coach Chuck Dickerson, a practitioner of real talk used to say on his radio show "you can't polish a turd." In direct contradiction to this universal truth we observe John King and Meryl King, their chamois cloths and their Old English spray bottles poised and ready... Their collaborative cognitive venture published in Albany's Times Union lays out all of the nothing they are going to do differently after hearing from parents, teachers, students and administrators across the state who've told them emphatically to leap from this crazy train. No, they never had any intentions of changing course, no matter what they heard from the savages in the hinterlands. They are going to buff this turd into shape no matter what anyone says. And to hear them talk it's only a matter of a tweak here and alignment there and little more.
I can't even bring myself to cut and paste a word of it. Their post- "Not Listening Tour" manifesto. It could very well have been written the night before the tour began for all of the reflection and self examination they displayed. Nowhere do they acknowledge the roar they heard in town and after town, high school auditorium after high school auditorium. In their minds it was just the racket of the unwashed whose protests aren't worth the time it takes to respond to them. They simply weren't listening, aren't listening and have no intentions of listening. They met for 20 some nights with the public they purportedly represent only to roll their eyes and sigh as they heard the same complaints over and over and over again. Instead of seeing a pattern to the complaints and following the logic that says where there's smoke there's fire, King and Tisch drank their bottled water, twisted their scarves, lied and tried their best to run out the clock. They could well have had Pee Wee Herman alongside them index fingers in both ears proclaiming "La la la - I can't hear youuuuu...."
When King got rolled in Poughkeepsie and promptly accused the parents and teachers who lambasted him of being influenced by "special interests" he pretty much showed us who he is. And if Maya Angelou got anything right it's her quote about people showing you who they are. King knew damned well who was in that audience and why they came after him the way they did. In his myopia and arrogance he underestimated the ferocity of their energies. He actually thought he was going to take up more of their time telling them why they weren't allowed to ask about his own kids attending a private school. And when he was told to sit down, to stop talking, to yield the floor etc. he looked a lot like the Boy King Joffrey of Game of Thrones stomping his foot and hissing I am the King!
It was pathetic. But true to form he came out the next day and quickly dismissed every single valid argument he'd been hit with claiming the conversation had been hijacked by nefarious special interest forces. He knew it was a lie. Everyone in that audience knew it was a lie. Everyone in New York State knew it was a lie. But so what, right? Fast Forward to the Manhattan forum dominated by paid lobbyists from Students First who were bussed into the event, given fake authentic looking hand painted signs in the same hand writing and same colors. The speakers were given minute by minute scripts to read from with stage directions indicating when to thank everyone and how to be as obsequious as possible. They arrived so early they scarfed up all but one speaking spot so there would be no opposition to King and Tisch this night. When asked to respond to the obvious manipulation of the audience input and the presence of several claques of charter schoolers and lobbyists, King feigned consternation at the notion that any of this was choreographed. Again, King knew he was lying, the reporter who asked him knew he was lying and every sentient being in New York knew he was lying. But he said it anyway. He might just as well have said Gambling? There is gambling at Ricks? I am shocked!
I hope when they go requesting the hundreds of millions they want to ram the rest of Common Core down New York's throats that someone is at the other end asking for documentation on how their plan is all going to lead to college and career ready kids. You know -- the way banks and credit unions do before they give money to shitheads, con men and stiffs? How is it people like King and Tisch can present a faith based initiative with no data to support any of its claims of 21st century readiness and even less of 2013 competence and walk away with a billion dollars? As it stands, teachers can't proceed with their planning because it isn't ready yet. It isn't what ? Is this a set of global standards or a fucking Gordon Ramsey cooking show?
And what is ready is inscrutably stupid in its Gordian presentation. I am sure we've all seen by now the Arkansas mom and teacher Karen Lamoreaux who demonstrates the 4th grade math problem that the kids are expected to solve in a hundred and eight steps? If you missed it WATCH IT HERE and again observe how her ELECTED board members want to shut her up and get rid of her. As it's being practiced now Common Core is a dog. It's despised, it's stupid and it's boring. But these two think it's just what the doctor ordered for the fake crisis they've helped fabricate, based on the canard that our schools are failing, our teachers suck and our kids are idiots. So bend over taxpayers and pay for the worst education imaginable for your kids. I think it's time we re-examine the nature of public service and who exactly is claiming these days to serve the pubic. King and Tisch and Cuomo clearly are serving someone's interests and I don't think we need another twenty nights of them looking at their watches and the ceiling to figure out that they are a far cry from public servants.