Tuesday, March 30, 2010

No Idol left behind

I think anyone who reads my blog knows that I'm a teacher. I also hope that those who know that about me also believe I work really hard at my job and love spending time in the classroom with the kids. I try to see the best in each of them and to encourage them to be their very best.

That being said, I don't like the No Child Left Behind act passed by the federal government years ago. It basically says that every child can succeed in all academic areas - that every child can master algebra for one thing. No they can't. That doesn't mean they can't succeed at anything, but it does mean that not everyone is going to be successful (to the same degree) in school. Common sense should tell us that, shouldn't it?

Know why I'm thinking about this tonight? I'm watching American Idol. The judges (with the exception of Simon), the audience, and Ryan, they all seem incapable of telling many of the contestants that singing should not be their chosen profession. They don't want to tell them the truth: Pick another path. Choose another dream. But please, for all of our sakes, STOP SINGING!!!

Why are they so reluctant to just say that? Why do they have to cushion the blows by saying, "We love YOU, but that song choice was bad." Or this one, "You've got mad skills, dawg. This was just an off night." No. They can't sing. They can't hit the key they're aiming for and they're hurting my ears.

Now, again, I'm generalizing. I could listen to Crystal Bowersox all night. I'm not a fan of Big Mike, but he hit it out of the park tonight, IMHO. Lee Dwyze was good and (thank God!!) Andrew was great! I think these people prove my point. Some can do it. Some can't. We can't all be stars.

But what I'm wondering about Idol and about No Child Left Behind is this: Is this what society is pushing? Let's prop everyone up. Let's make all of these special arrangements to make everything and everyone equal. That way, everyone can feel good about themselves.

Except that's not real life, is it?

We aren't all equal. We aren't all good at the same things. We aren't all winners at everything. That doesn't mean that we can't have pride in ourselves. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't push ourselves. That doesn't mean we can't excel - it just means we should be honest with ourselves and with each other about what we're really good at.

I'm sure we've all got mad skills for something, dawg, but jeez, could ya just get off the stage? I want a "vote off" number, please....

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