Buffalo School Board stages theater of the absurd
August 26, 2013 9:58 AM   Subscribe

Buffalo News theater critic reviews a recent school board meeting.
posted by latkes (14 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
quoted for truth:
As it turned out, this six-hour marathon production bore very little resemblance to Shakespeare, Beckett or Mamet. It was more like a lost play by Franz Kafka – a slow and absurd look at the slow and absurd machinations of bureaucracy in the face of terrible and immediate injustices.

It went, essentially, like this:

Question: Why are black and brown kids with no money routinely and systematically denied the same educational opportunities their richer, white counterparts receive? Answer: Our recently completed strategic plan, produced in secret and with no input from key community leaders, contains a series of actionable outcomes based upon national benchmarking equations.
posted by ennui.bz at 10:16 AM on August 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Before more people start quoting for truth, be aware that the "antihero" the piece extols is none other than Carl Palladino, rich asshole extraordinaire and as close to the standard Tea Party fuckhead as you'll find in New York.

Given that, I have to think that the way the piece makes fun of the Board of Education, and its process, and the way it uses technical language from the area it regulates, is just code for "Let's make education more betterer by giving it to businessey people who are totes smart and noble. Job creators!"
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:23 AM on August 26, 2013 [9 favorites]


Am I supposed to be angry at the Board of Education for not having a simple and clear solution to racism, poverty, and oppression?
posted by Area Man at 10:31 AM on August 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


In fairness, Rou, the Buffalo school board has long been a place of exceptional disfuncyion. I ran a few races for BSB and so many of the candidate are either entrenched incumbents who have not done a thing, failed candidates for higher office, future failed candidates for higher office using the board to make a start, crazy people.

But you are absolutely correct the Buffalo News. With Jim Heaney gone and Bob McCarthy appearing less often there really isn't anything worth reading unless you are into the folksy charm of a Paladino.

I need a drink.
posted by munchingzombie at 10:38 AM on August 26, 2013


I'm a big believer in the ultimate good of public education, but, is there a BoE anywhere in the US that isn't a dysfunctional quagmire of petty amateur politics and bloviating bureaucrats?
posted by Thorzdad at 10:46 AM on August 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


...Carl Palladino, rich asshole extraordinaire...

Point of order -- I believe that the name 'Carl Palladino' is to be suffixed with the description "horse bestiality pr0n enthusiast". It is not often that the public is offered the chance to discuss horse bestiality pr0n as a legitimate topic within the political sphere, and Carl affords us this opportunity each time his name is mentioned.

Carry on.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:47 AM on August 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Nope, nope...fucking nope.

I know Colin, and I know Carl's history. They care little about the status of minorities in Buffalo's school system. They have been pushing the charter system, which has been a colossal fuck up, and has only distracted people and resources from fixing this problem. The ones who claim to correct it are only steering tge system into the ditch, so the well connected (many of of whom derive their wealth from dismantling and privatizing what Buffalo public systems and tax dollars worked decades to maintain after the mass exodus to Hamburg, EA, OP, and Blasdale) can get their cut.

These fuckers would happily destroy Mighty Taco for an extra nickel.

If you catch anyone in the Buffalo area extolling the virtues of charter schools, say these two words: Stepping Stone.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 10:47 AM on August 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm a big believer in the ultimate good of public education, but, is there a BoE anywhere in the US that isn't a dysfunctional quagmire of petty amateur politics and bloviating bureaucrats?

I feel this point would be better made if the editorial writer wasn't slipping his hand inside his smoking jacket to rub his left nipple in a continuous gentle circular motion.
posted by srboisvert at 10:51 AM on August 26, 2013


be aware that the "antihero" the piece extols is none other than Carl Palladino, rich asshole extraordinaire and as close to the standard Tea Party fuckhead as you'll find in New York.


Bummer, sorry. Didn't know the local back story. Hate to be part of scapegoating local districts.
posted by latkes at 11:17 AM on August 26, 2013


These fuckers would happily destroy Mighty Taco for an extra nickel.

Pfft. Everyone knows Mighty Taco is indestructible. If you strike it down, it will return with ever more stonerrific commercials.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:43 AM on August 26, 2013


The sad fact of the matter is that in most cases anyone who would WANT to be on the BoE is probably someone who is unwholesome and bad for kids.

Our School Board is a morass of graft and corruption (Remember us? We had all the standardized test cheaters?) The Republican Governor, himself a morass of graft and corruption, is trying to oust them all, mostly black Democrats. It's just as ugly and racist and sad as you'd think.

Me, I tried, but I only lasted two years in that environment as a teacher, before I ran screaming for the hills.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:51 AM on August 26, 2013


So I have a much more optimistic view of the people who run for and serve on school boards because in the mid-aughts I worked on my friend's first campaign for the SF Board of Education and got to meet a lot of the people who served on the board at the time. I'm not saying that some folks weren't looking at the BoE as a fiefdom, but at least in the 2004 and 2006 campaigns, I met a lot of activists who thought about how to address those radical disparities in opportunity and achievement, with sincerity and well-informed perspectives. Public education and its troubles are a classic wicked problem, so it's no surprise that the actual ability of school board members to "fix" things is limited, but I remain an optimist as to those who choose to run for local office.
posted by spamandkimchi at 3:43 PM on August 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


They must have a touring company because I just saw this production last month produced by our State Board.

I have no idea who A. Count Ability is but he seems like kind of a jackass.
posted by Dr. Zira at 4:56 PM on August 26, 2013


I believe that the name 'Carl Palladino' is to be suffixed with the description "horse bestiality pr0n enthusiast".

Oh, I had forgotten this. Thanks for reminding me. I hope you'll understand if I use the more succint "Carl Palladino, bestiality enthusiast."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:11 AM on August 27, 2013


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