DALLAS, Texas – Welcome to the 21st Century where learning has morphed from old school reading, writing and arithmetic into a transcendent academia where knowledge is common and the core of power sits in the empathetic lap of the Common Core.
That’s right, see Spot run no more. Instead, see how Spot feels. See how Spot feels about his feelings. See how Spot feels about his bone. See how Spot gets along with the other dogs. See how Spot’s personal portfolio is filled with checklist diagnoses, questionnaires, observations, and a lifetime supply of medicated treats and tracking devices all courtesy of the future crimes division of the dog pound.
Yep, this is public education, assessing emotional-ills-for-all! Makes one wonder what it would have been like if just a few of the following faces got off the big yellow school bus today:
…if Thomas Alva Edison was in public school today
He would be diagnosed with ADHD because he had the attention span of a flea and was only interested in subjects that were of interest to him. He appeared confused and distracted to his teachers. He was said to be “un-teachable.”
…If Helen of Troy was in public school today
She would be diagnosed with paranoia. She was convinced people were out to get her. On occasion, she also had psychotic episodes, believing her mother to be a swan and her father, a god. At puberty, she was kidnapped.
…If Sir Isaac Newton was in public school today
He would be diagnosed with Oppositional Defiance nee Conduct Disorder because he threatened to kill his cruel stepfather and burn his house down after the uncaring man whisked his mother away and left Newton to be raised by a grandmother.
…If Moses was in public school today
He would be diagnosed with schizophrenia. He saw visions, heard voices and was believed God talked to him.
…If Jane Goodall was in public school today
She would have been diagnosed with Narcissism, formerly known as meglomaniacy, more recently reassigned to the Cluster B “dramatic personality disorders” that now umbrella the entire antisocial/psychopathic wing of the DSM-V, the official “bible” of shrinks diagnosing public school kids everywhere. Yes, this diagnosis would have been made because Goodall, fascinated with the “Tarzan” stories, believed she would make a better “Jane” than Jane. Only her mother believed that someday Jane would make a name for herself.
…If Gandhi was in public school today
He would be diagnosed as bipolar. On the one hand, he was quiet, shy and retiring, often tongue-tied. On the other hand, he was over-reactive, over-emotional and prone to binges of meat-eating, smoking and petty acts of pilfering.
…If Madame (Marie) Curie was in public school today
She would be diagnosed with depression. Her youth was marred by the deaths of her sister and mother. As a teen, she suffered a nervous breakdown and, thereafter, was labeled an under-achiever.
If Florence Nightingale was in public school today …
She would be dubbed “the strong-willed child” – difficult, negative and attention-seeking because she loved to agitate and antagonize, creating heated debates and an angry home, rebelling endlessly against the mold of the Victorian lady.
If Teddy Geisel was in public school today…
He would be diagnosed with Impulse Regulatory Disorder. He was the class clown, the trouble maker who broke rules, cut class, exaggerated and he drew bizarre pencil drawings. He saw the world in a way considered thoroughly abnormal by his teachers. They warned him that he would never be successful. His parents wanted him to be a doctor but he was voted “least likely to succeed.” Ted ignored everyone, followed his passions and became a doctor after all… Dr. Seuss.
If George Washington Carver was in public school today…
He would have gotten the “twice-gifted” award for his stellar work with plants and peanuts and his equally unstellar “lack of empathy” for bringing a peanut butter sandwich in his lunchbox.
If Bill Gates was in public school today…
He might just have quite the longitudinal data-base rap sheet! Can you imagine? Admits to putting little-to-no effort into K-6 studies. Poor grades. Low test scores. Lousy social skills. Bossy. Unbending. Parents worried, withdrawn (age 11). Consent forms sent home to request SST (Student Support Team). Assess for cognitive, executive function, verbal and/or non-verbal disorders. Possible ADHD. Administer Quotient. No particular aptitude emerging. Case closed. Student moved to private school. Future data shows: liked computers (age 14). Harvard. No clear college major. Drops out to start business. Strongly idealistic, overly individualistic, heady, introverted, highly capitalistic. Visions of grandeur.
Nope, if Bill Gates was in public school today, he just might not have grown up to become Bill Gates.