Denis Ian, a reader of the blog, has contributed several excellent comments which I have turned into post. Here is another that strikes a chord for its insight and thoughtfulness. American society has long been celebrated for individual freedom blended with civic responsibility. We take care of one another. We volunteer to help. We pitch in. But we don’t see why bureaucrats and legislators are forcing us to do things to our schools and our children that harm them. And we are responding.

 

 

Denis Ian writes:

 

 

Why should the parents of New York be out of step with what’s happening all across the nation?

 

Of course, this opt-out resistance is about education. But it’s also about what’s boiling folks from coast-to-coast … this never-ending, ever-intrusive, arrogant, and ruinous involvement of government to be front and center in the lives of every man, woman, and child.

 

This test-refusal effort is a scream at the federal and state governments to back off … retreat … and leave folks alone to craft the sort of society that will be … not the society envisioned by a few.

 

Parents want their schools back … among other things. This current effort … withholding kids from academic assessments … is way more complex than just a pile of lousy exams spawned by a wretched educational reform. That’s the surface stuff. The roots are much deeper. Only the daring will squint hard to see the links that are so obvious.

 

This society is set to explode … one way or another.

 

These tests are serious stuff for parents … and more serious stuff for children. This resistance has fired up lots of pretty ordinary folks into becoming very active managers of their own lives … and it will carry over into other issues soon enough. This election season is already the most bizarre of my long life … and it looks to get even more memorable in the months ahead.

 

Why? Because government … and a slender class of autocratic fops … has made it their business to be in everyone else’s business. We have these self-appointed wind-bags who have this neurotic, messiah complex that results in chaos for everything they touch.

 

They’ve ruined healthcare, border and homeland security, law enforcement, illegal immigration, the economy, education, and just about everything else they’ve knocked up against. Why are folks so surprised that people are fit to be tied?

 

The new Know-It-All class … the self-anointed oligarchs … have imposed their norms and values and programs and reforms with absolute ease over the last several years … but the breaking point is here. The signs are all about … just look at the sort of political figures who have captured the attention of the people. They’re not oligarchic types at all .. in fact, they’re the antidotes to the giant itch that troubles this nation.

 

The really amazing thing about this reform/test counter-action is the resistance to the resistance. The educational oligarchs … just like the social and political absolutists … will not admit what is underfoot. They will not concede that the agitation is THEIR fault … caused by THEIR ineptitude and THEIR arrogance. That is a sure-fire fuse that will easily flame up. Nothing pisses off good people more than being played for dummies.

 

And the people are plenty pissed off.

 

This moment … in education … is an early prelude to what’s in store for this political season. I’m certaint these parents … who stood tall for their children and their neighborhood schools … won’t vanish for a long while. They’re just warming up.

 

The oligarchs have blown it … big time. And it all began with the biggest dummy of all … Arne Duncan … that mother-bashing fop who lit that fuse.

 

This Duncan quote about suburban moms might be the most memorable educational gaffe of recent decades: ” … “their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.”

 

Duncan is still in search of the world’s largest vacuum … but those words have stuck in the craw of every parent from Long Island to Los Angeles. And now those moms … and dads … are the first in battle against the snob class. And they’re winning.

 

Denis Ian