Things used to be more fun around here before the educational folks took all those public relation spin classes and learned how to turn real crappy events into seemingly positive experiences.
Take, for example, the quoted responses from NMPED (2010) and APS (2012, i.e., yesterday) when told they weren’t finalist for federal “Race to the Top” funds:
(2010, from the Journal) then NMPED Secretary Veronica Garcia: “‘We felt that the team put together a competitive application, but obviously we’re going to have to wait and see the feedback to see where the disconnect was,’ Garcia said.”
(Yesterday, again from the Journal) APS’ Joseph Escobedo: “‘We are disappointed, but we’re excited about the ideas we were able to gather,’ he said, adding that the district will still move forward with some aspects of the grant, like making education more personalized for students.”
For those who haven’t taken spin classes, the kind that make organizations, not physiques, look good, note the words “disconnect” versus “excited” in the above sentences. Let’s accentuate the power of these words with a few contextual examples:
“Mitt Romney lost by over 100 Electoral votes, and we’ll have to assess the former governor’s disconnect with pretty much every demographic but white males in this country.”
“Mitt Romney lost by over 100 Electoral votes, but we’re excited to have learned so much about the voting preferences of non-white, non-male voters in this country!”
Now let’s try today’s spin words at home:
“Honey, it would appear that I have wrecked the family car while leaving the scene of the home at which I was continuing my affair with your best friend, and we need to assess the disconnect in both my driving ability and our marriage.”
“Honey, I’m excited that my wrecking of the family car outside the residence of your best friend gives us the chance to both shop for a new car and reassess our marriage!”
Yes…exclamation points help, too, but the phony power of spin cannot be denied. You too can be “excited” today about everything from doing the laundry to preparing for a U.S. Department of Justice investigation.
Sure, it was more fun back when our educational leaders admitted they had screwed up and had no idea why, but now we’re excited to have the opportunity to dig through the verbal horseshit to get at the reality that, nope, we ain’t getting no “Race to the Top” money this time, neither.