Government By Platitude

Governor Walz released…

…well, he called it his “education plan”, earlier this week.

Those of us who work in business – which significantly, has never included anyone in our executive branch – can identify what this…thing, is.

It’s a two page list of platitudes. One and a half when you leave out the header.

None of it has specifics. None of it is testable to see if it’s working or isn’t, in any way. And while we are assured that there’s more “plan” coming, mark my words – there’ll be no more substance in the thousands of pages of institutional gobbledigook that are surely to come.

But let’s translate the terms from their current Educational/Bureaucratic dialect – the form of English with the lowest signal to noise ratio of all our many argots – into actual English:

  • “‘Caring and Qualified’ Teachers” – Get ready to get logrolled with a few years of sob stories about how underpaid teachers, especially in the Metro, are.
  • “Expand opportunities and mental health staff” – Full employment for soft-science and non-profiteers in the school system.
  • “Statewide Mentor Program to help retain teachers” –
  • “Expand full service community school model statewide” – We need to expand the system’s efficiency at transferring taxpayer dollars, not just to Education Minnesota, but to the non-profit/industrial complex that’s attached to it like a remora fish – and all you schools in greater Minnesota need to step up and do your bit.
  • “Establish an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Center” – Because why should we pay Pacific Consulting Group millions to screw up our schools when we’ve got PCG-trained career bureaucrats who can do it for us. Although we’ll still be transferring plenty of wealth to PCG.
  • “Expand rigorous coursework options” – You bought an education system! Now, for just a few billion more, you can have one that actually teaches stuff to kids! Maybe!
  • “Prioritize school funding to the students that need it most” and “Guarantee that compensatory aid funding supports students traditionally left behind” – jigger the various knobs and levers to move more money to the Metro.
  • “One time investment to ensure pandemic enrollment loss does not negatively affect students.” – parents and students are bailing on the public schools in record numbers. We need a bailout.
  • “Strengthen community and school partnerships” – No “community” non-profit left behind.

Hope that helps.

12 thoughts on “Government By Platitude

  1. ‘“Statewide Mentor Program to help retain teachers” –’

    this forcefully brings to mind the Political Officer from The Hunt For Red October – every submarine has one – every school should have one – and yeah in the best Orwellian mode lets call them Mentors

  2. “Expand opportunities and mental health staff”

    The job market for men wearing dresses is blowing up!

  3. I was hoping to see: “Every kid can read and cipher at grade level.”

    I’d settle for: “All kids can read and cipher to their individual fullest abilities,” which recognizes the far left of the ability distribution curve may never reach grade level.

    I’m not thrilled with: “Bafflegab diversity gobblety-gook pay raise mumble.” But I’m not astonished by it, either. It’s about what I expect from that bunch.

  4. What Joe says. I realize, “bell curve” and all, that not every child may be able to read and perform arithmetic at grade level or above, but by golly, shouldn’t “every child will be taught to read and perform arithmetic” be a goal here?

    Of course, since doing that really doesn’t require a lot of funding, and it actually reduces power over people because they will suddenly be capable of making their own decisions, that will never do for Education Minnesota. And you know very well that there will be no teaching of logic in the schools–critical thinking (meaning “doubt real authorities and trust false ones”) will have to do.

  5. I don’t know… this sounds to me like a primer for a property tax increase. A large one. You know, for the children™.

  6. When Governor Oz was pitching his Covid snake oil, I heard lots of noise about testing. Not so much with Due North. Wouldn’t that be good? Buehler? Anyone?

  7. JDM,

    I’m happy to say it’s been over a decade since I had to waste any time on “vision and mission statements”. Maybe they’ve fallen out of vogue.

    When asked to work on such a team, I always respond with the only mission statement that has ever mattered – that of Baron Manfred Von Richthoven: “My job is to patrol my space and shoot down the enemy. All else is bullshit”.

    Change the milieu to fit your industry – groceries, air warfare, paper suppy, deep sea drilling equipment – it’s all the same mission.

  8. You are correct, sir. I’m glad to hear (read) that you are *not* non-productively employed far away from the activities that actually provide for paychecks.

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