Jump on Board for the Fecal Exam:
American Public Education is Full of Shit!
By Dr. John R. Alston Trotter and Norreese L. Haynes
The Metro Association of Classroom Educators (MACE), once described by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as “that radical teachers union,” was founded in 1995 in Georgia and continues to drive the petty, small-minded, insecure, angry, and abusive administrators crazy in its attempt to protect and empower the classroom educators of Georgia…one member at a time. There were many predictions in the early years of the swift and abortive demise of MACE, but what we have witnessed is many school administrators (if we may use this phrase loosely) who have whimpered away via early retirements or forced transfers rather than the premature death of MACE.
It was never easy starting and keeping up a for-profit (yes, not a mamsey-pamsey “non-profit” which ostensibly exists only for its members’ benefits but whose staff is as lazy as a bunch of buzzards) teachers union which responds with all due alacrity to its members’ needs because of the good ole profit motive (not unlike Chick fil-A or Avis Rent-a-Car or Publix Grocery Stores). The profits were not always there, and financial survival was always in the forefront of our collective mind. So, we had to constantly worry about having sufficient money to operate and at the same time to offer the absolute first class and undisputed best service that any organization could offer to teachers in Georgia.
We wanted to get this “for profit” thing out of the way at the outset. It has been addressed from time to time in the media about MACE being “a for profit union” as if this was anathema, and we simply state from the outset that we like “for profit” companies and don’t apologize for building a union on the same concept that Bill Gates built Microsoft or Steve Jobs built Apple. Would you really want to purchase some “non-profit software” for your computer or purchase a “non-profit cell phone”? Ha! We are working from Windows 8 now and both of us use iPhones. Our country was built by “for profit” companies, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. At MACE, we have never received a nickel from any government or governmental agency. We don’t go after grants and have never received a grant or any tax-favored status. We have earned and continue to earn our dollars by pleasing our members, one teacher at a time. We pay taxes to the State of Georgia and to the United States of America.
We remember one teacher reading in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about MACE being different…that it was a “for profit teachers union,” and this teacher called the MACE Office and stated: “I don’t care how you are organized. I just want to stay a member!” We had assisted this teacher in getting an administrator off his back. That’s really all the teachers want these days. They just want to be left alone to teach. All the harassment and all of the bullshit evaluations which are so skewed, biased, and laughable are driving them crazy, and they really have no one to turn to except MACE. I jokingly say that the dispossessed and disemboweled and disenchanted and dispirited and dejected teachers in Georgia (and in other states as well) have only three True Friends…the Good Lord Himself, Wal-Mart, and the MACE teachers union.
At MACE, we know that you cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions. This is has been the mantra at MACE from the jump street. This is an undisputed fact. This phrase was used in the opening article that we wrote in the first issue in The Teachers Advocate! magazine in the Fall of 1995. Our message has not changed one scintilla. While other groups may be tossed to and fro with each fad coming down the educational pike or each knee jerk reaction that the Georgia Governor or the Georgia General Assembly may come up with about how to “improve” public education in Georgia, MACE has remained constant, steadfast, unshakeable, and unmovable. Immotus, baby! We have agitated, irritated, and fulminated against the shabby, unprofessional, and sorry-ass treatment of teachers in Georgia, but we have never vacillated. We have protected and empowered many a classroom educator in Georgia…while scaring the shit out of the sorry-ass administrators. (Note: Not all administrators are “sorry-ass” but we think that this characteristic is reaching majority status today, if it hasn’t already done so.) Some of these administrators don’t have enough sense to pour piss out of a boot and many have such sour dispositions that it looks like they were baptized in lemon juice. Or, as Hap Frazier used to say, “They’re mean as cat shit and twice nasty!”
Some may ask, “Why does MACE have to be so mean in dealing with the administrators?” Well, we have to provide the proper antidote to the administrative action already taking place. Today, unlike the years when we grew up, the teachers are essentially treated like dog shit. Forty-five to fifty years ago and earlier, teachers were the kings and queens of their classrooms, and the administrators for the most part backed them to the hilt. The students knew this. Their parents knew this. This was how it was. Even the parents usually tore into their children when they got into trouble at school. Most of these parents just took the word of the teachers about Johnny’s conduct and didn’t even think of trying to indict the teacher when the teacher disciplined Johnny. Now, however, the teacher immediately goes on trial when he or she writes up Johnny and asks the administration for help. The administrators know that Johnny’s irate and irresponsible and crazy-as-hell mother or perhaps both parents will be storming the school and calling for the teacher’s scalp for singling out Johnny for his defiant and disruptive behavior. Heck, it’s like war…the Hatfields & the McCoys or Auburn vs. Alabama. There is so much bad blood between the crazy-ass parents and the already beleaguered, beat-up, and badgered teachers that these weaseling, booger-eating, scared administrators would rather stay angry and abusive toward the teachers to get the teachers to cower down to the parents and not report Johnny so that he or she would not have to face these nutty-as-a-fruitcake parents.
Folks, this is what is going on in these dysfunctional schools these days. You may think that we are just using fanciful language to try to cause hysteria about what is taking place in our public schools, especially in the urban areas, but we are not. We actually may even be toning down what the egregious and unconscionable conduct of the disruptive and defiant students and their irate and irresponsible parents as well as the angry and abusive administrator. What is taking place in the war zone schools is so outrageous and incredulous that the educrats in Atlanta, Georgia (and other state capitals) and in Washington, D. C. can’t even fathom what to do about these schools and if they knew what to do, these gnostic, elite, and effete educrats wouldn’t have the ball to even try it. They have, as one keen educator observed, parakeet balls. They come up with bullshit programs like No Child Left Behind and Race To The Top, programs which neither address the abysmal and abject condition of zero discipline (no, not zero tolerance; we said, “zero discipline”) and the year-around open season for students, teachers, and administrators to beat up on teachers at will with impunity. Teachers are actually the most abused professional people in the country. Do you think that medical doctors or attorney would permit their patients or clients to come to their office and shout obscenities at them? Would they tolerate some faceless and feckless state bureaucrat to come and randomly observe them while they treat their patients or counsel with their clients? Would they countenance the notion of allowing some state snoopervisor to demand that they submit they daily and weekly plans for meeting with their patients or clients? Ad infinitum.
We’re not talking about all of the schools. Not all the administrators shit in their pants when these nuts-for-parents show up at school; some administrators actually have a backbone and are not afraid of them. But, these administrators don’t last long. The superintendents find them to be “inflexible” and are really concerned that they will not be company men and women, that they might have too much integrity and not be pliable enough so that the superintendent can be assured that they will jump though circus rings like trained animals. So, eventually these administrators with integrity and backbone are slowly bled to zap them of their moral vim and vigor, and they are often simply corporately executed. All of the other administrators get the message and realize that they need to eat the shit given to them, not question the demigod of the school system (viz., the superintendent), and be a good little boy or girl until he or she can draw his or her full retirement. Having integrity in American Public Education (APE) is a liability to your career and health. This is no lie. No exaggeration. Just cold and depressing facts of the bullshit that is part and parcel of APE. APE is currently screwed up beyond comprehension, and those who risk pointing out how fucked up public education is in the United States will be ridiculed and derisively dismissed. We purposely used the phrase “fucked up” to shock you. Are you shocked? What if you were in a classroom where this phrase and its derivatives were bandied about each hour by the so-called students, without any fear of reprisal? What if a kid blurted out to you in front of the entire class, “Hey, bitch, turn the fucking lights on!”? What if a student looked at you and stated, “Bitch, I’ll shit in your mouth.”? This happens. Teachers have told us of being talked to exactly like the quotes above – and we have heard many, many more anecdotal stories of such disgusting behavior from these so-called students.
One teacher told us, “I have been called ‘bitch’ so many times that I thought it was my middle name.” The discipline in our public schools is waning rapidly, and in our urban schools, it essentially does not exist at all. The school without discipline is nothing but a warehouse trying to herd young people like herding cats. Can’t you imagine trying to herd 1,500 cats at one time? Do you think that the cats would follow directions? Ha! Just like all health begins in the colon, all healthy schools begin with sound discipline. One famous scientist stated that there is but one great disease of the body, and that this disease is a lack of drainage. Another famous medical doctor, Max Gerson, developed the Gerson Therapy to reverse degenerative diseases. One of the salient features of this Gerson Therapy, from my understanding, is a constant elimination of filth and toxins in the body by regular enemas. Our collective educational corpus in the United States is full of hardened, toxic, stinky, loathsome, and deadly shit.
American Public Education (APE) needs many good enemas to clean out (1) the small-minded, ignorant, petty, bitchy, angry, and abusive administrators, (2) the naïve, useless, in-your-way educrats, (3) the money-making, opportunistic, and recently-retired-superintendent consultants/insultants, (4) the whoring , sluttish, and narcissistic superintendents, (5) and the I-don’t-give-a-damn-and-you-can’t-do-shit-about-it, thuggish, and hell-raising students. Yes, the first thing that APE needs if we are serious about cleaning up the mess and healing our public schools is a series of educational enemas. Stay with us in this book, and we will show you in smelly, irreverent, and politically incorrect details about the bullshit which has a stranglehold on today’s public education in America. It will be a scatological examination of the fecal control of public education. It will be wild, perhaps a little unorganized (reality itself is messy and unorganized and hardly ever homogenized), entertaining, but it will be the truth. We won’t spare a thing. Not one scintilla. We intend to offend. We write so as not to be misunderstood. In your guts, you may think that we’re nuts, but in your heart, you will know that we are right…and that we are just crazy enough to tell the truth. Ha! Put on your helmet, folks. It’s going to be a ride! © Tyndall McPherson Frazier, 2012.