A Network Connecting School Leaders From Around The Globe
Doctors. Lawyers. Mayors. Police Commissioners. Presidents. Mafioso crime boss. Even a cancer-ridden high school chemistry teacher. Can you spot the pattern?
Portrayals of these careers have filled hours of American prime time television.
Welcome American Private and Public School Administrators! You, too, now have a hit television program that charts your highs and lows. But you’re fortunate to have a writer/showrunner as astute as John Ripley (12 Years a Slave) and actors such as Felicity Huffman and Elvis Nolasco being, well you. Or at least a TV you.
One would imagine that if a hot, splashy TV show featured your work that fellow school leaders would weigh in. That is not the case. While the Daily Beast’s Kevin Fallon said in a post on 29 January 2016 that American Crime needs to be heard, I found only one hit on a Google search of “American Crime + Educators.”
Matt Walsh, a blogger at Education Week posted “On ABC, Education Is the Backdrop for Season 2 of 'American Crime'” on January 5, 2016, 12:16 PM. As of today, Walsh’s post elicited no comments.
John Ripley told Megan Vick at TVguide.com on 10 January 2016, "There's no system that all of us are more intimately involved in in one way or another than education. There is no system that is more fundamentally important to all of us. We are all affected by education.," he said. "I'm very thankful that we got to examine the educational system in some degree here: the dualities between public and private and also discovering some beliefs that one or the other is more important or more significant in our society."
Amen, I say.
Haven’t we been waiting for this? As politicians, corporate reformers, and the Educational Industrial Complex lay siege to teachers and school administrators, haven’t we pined for a thoughtful writer-director to not reduce us to an individual Super(wo)man, usually white, who revives a troubled, usually ghetto school. Or some clownish Minister of Misery who monopolizes the teacher work room conversation with gloom and doom?
Felicity Huffman describes her character Barb Hanlon in an interview with Greg Braxton at the LATIMES on 22 January 2016.
Braxton: You have described Leslie as a politician.
Huffman: She is a company man. She will do the job that is given to her, and do it 100%, whether it is a private school or a Fortune 500 company or a nonprofit. She cares about the big picture. I also think she's lonely. She's a bit of an island.
Braxton: Although she cares about the institution, she's also insensitive to the mother who is so distraught.
Huffman: That's exactly right. But if you care about the institution and your goal is the greater good, there will be times when you go, "I understand that you're upset, but I can't do anything about it." If the body is sick, sometimes, you have to cut off the foot to save the body.
Does that sound like you at your outpost in American Education?
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Please return here and share your thoughts with your colleagues.