Friday, December 15, 2006

The Needham Nitwit Strikes Again!

When the story of Needham High School abandoning a public "honor roll" to reduce student stress first hit, I hoped that by mocking it, we might convince the bureacratic boneheads to reconsider.

Obviously, I forgot Graham's First Law Of Bureaucracy: "In the great sea of stupidity, there is no bottom."

Needham High Nitwit (and principal) Paul Richards is mad that he's being forced to discuss the issue at all, telling the Boston Globe-Democrat that "This was simply an FYI to the parents...I had no intention of making a public stand."

Well, professor, if I were this dumb, I wouldn't be bragging about it in public, either. But when you announce that you're taking away a reward from your achieving students in your pursuit of excellence, you can't be surprised when people mock you for it.

And just to make sure his students continue to feel comfortable while underachieving, Richards is also responsible for the "no homework over long weekends" and "we'll give you extra days off for showing up at school on time" policies. Richards is the kind of educator who, no matter how low the standards are set, he can find a way to push them just a little lower.

Richards still doesn't get it. "By having an honor roll in the first place, the school participates in a sorting of students," Richards wrote. "When we publish this sorting, there are values attached that we should be mindful of."

Uh, no. The school doesn't sort the kids, the kids do. They sort themselves through effort and accomplishment. Kids who perform deserve to be honored. If they aren't honored, how can you call it an honor roll.

I've got a homeword assignment for Principal Richards, one easy enough to pass even his requirements. I'm sending him this DVD.

Will it make a difference? Probably not, at least the point will be made.