Willy cannot vote, and has no interest in voting. In a minute he's going to sneak out of detention to play video games. Willy is smart, and Willy is spunky. He skateboards, dreams of becoming the world Nintari champion, and pushes his little sister on the swing. But Willy also cannot read.
Oh, Willy knows his synonynms and antonyms, and what to write at the beginning and end of an essay question, but the truth is he can't even communicate without a multiple choice array of what to say. Social promotion and standardized test prep has taught Willy how to exist within the system, but not how to navigate it. Willy knows he won't go to college- he’ll never even grow up. Willy knows what we expect of him, and acts accordingly. He'll graduate in two years, and in less time his slingshot antics will land him in prison, and the cycle continues.
I don’t know whether the solution is school funding, vouchers, higher teacher pay, channel one, or what. I’m just glad to not be back there myself. But, contrary to Willy’s childish beliefs, there are no saves or restores in this life. This election, let’s keep him in our minds.
Posted by Sir Cucumber at 9:16 AM on Thursday, October 30, 2008