You ever have that one friend who has that daft, irritating catch phrase they picked up from some movie or TV show and he just wouldn’t stop saying it? I probably agitated my younger brother and cousin everytime I thought something was corny and I’d reply with an “AAAAAALLLLLLLRRRRIGHTY THEEENNN!!!” (© Ace Ventura). They in turn found ways to harass me with a gill or a bop (or some other form of firm smack of the head or neck) for every time I said something ridiculous. Things like that make next to no sense, but upon repetition, they become a force of habit, nonsensical as it may be.
That’s why I’ve reconsidered the use of the term “education reform.” Yes, this phrase has been around before formalized education existed; surely the discussion about how any nation’s children should be educated has been a hot topic forever since we have yet to figure it out. However, with all this discussion lately, “education reform” has become the domain of the rich and connected to play Battleship with the lives of millions of people young and old across the world. Words like “education reform” are the kin of “anti-terrorism” and “pro-life” in that few people have the gumption to state that they’re directly against those ideas. It’s deceptive in that the policies behind these ideas often endanger tons of lives, but that’s hidden well behind a PR friendly narrative.
People against this type of education reform have used a prefix like “real,” but in the days of 24/7 media, the chances of all of us out-using the words “education reform” to the point where it favors people like us is slim to none. It’s like when someone refers to an athlete as the next Jordan: it only further validates Jordan’s legacy but it diminishes the athlete who was deemed the next (see: Harold Miner). Plus, we’re not looking to validate their version of education reform; we’re looking to deconstruct, and in many ways, destroy.
And some skilled reporter might ask us, “but don’t you believe that education needs to be reformed?” again spouting the same rhetoric we need to dismantle. But I know I’ll reply swiftly and with heavy doses of snark.
Or maybe I’ll just say, “AAAAAAAAALLLLLLRRRRRIIIGHTY THENNNN!!!”
Jose, who thinks this Batman and Robin agreement for NYC Schools Chancellor is a shay-ay-ayme.