Sunday, January 4

Well, He Really Had The Kids Motivated, But For Some Reason Every Year They Failed Before Making It To The Finals.

THE Calm Confidence of a Public Christian Holding Four Aces, a $5M/yr contract, and yet another Express Ticket to an Early Vacation:

"...and because I want to do some things with young men, some hands-on stuff. We had a very very tough year this past year in Indianapolis, the worst summer we had for homicides, our graduation rate is 19% in the public schools..."

-Colts Coach Tony Dungy, explaining his now annual pre-playoff flameout "Am I Gonna Retire And Become Football's Mother Teresa or What?" Tour, to Al Michaels

OKAY, so things are tough all over, and those of us who remember Amy Grant can attest that the Professional Christian circuit isn't the most lucrative market anyway, especially if you're used to pulling down $5 M per. But jesus christ, you should pardon the expression, the Record Setting Summer Homicide Canard was for 2007. There's an easy pneumonic device for that: Democrats (like the then mayor) Bad, Republicans (like the new one) Good. This is why someone tried to impress you with the Summer business in the first place, because that was when there was some profit in it; you could have said the rate was up (though not a record; that was set over a decade ago, but in the marketing biz, if you haven't got it in stock anymore it doesn't count) this year and been correct, but accuracy ain't the point and if we toss out Mayor Gomer just because he's worse than his predecessor at everything he complained about during the campaign we'll wind up with another Republican Democrat and they'll be gay marryin' 200 couples at halftime on the turf on that Football Barn of yours.

As for the graduation rate, that 19% thing seems to be something cooked up at the Colin & Alma Powell Tax Exempt Institute of Remaining In The Public Eye While Your Party's In The Crapper Partly Thanks To Your Own Lyin' Self, and that when asked how it was his numbers differed so drastically from that of the Indianapolis Public Schools, the State of Indiana Department of Education, and, well, Reality, Powell said, if I recall correctly, "Nice weather you folks are havin'".  

(Funny how the numbers've stuck around anyway, particularly in the minds of people who want to destroy the public schools for one reason or another.  I'm sure that wasn't the intention.)

The most those Powell numbers could be used to demonstrate is that only 19% of males who enroll in a particular middle school graduate from the high school the study arbitrarily attached to it. That is, it might have proven that--though not, say, what skeptics might term "what happened to them in the interim if they didn't"--except that it didn't even do that much tracking, since someone in the office had a perfectly serviceable algorithm lying around not doing anything and it got them up and running without the annoying four- or five-year wait. 

And, look, our high school graduation rates are abysmal, and not just in the inner cities, but since you bring it up: the history of education in the city of Indianapolis since Brown is the story of white flight, abandoned minorities, and a sleazy deal to keep white suburban schools in the hands of white suburbanites while simultaneously allowing them to keep political control of the old, now minority, city schools at the same time. It's shameful, and it'd be nice if you felt some small obligation to learn about it before you start spouting fake statistics on television about a city which is only your home in the professional sense.

It's possible that somewhere along the line you might be surprised to learn that we just spent three-quarters of a billion dollars on that new Football Barn we gave your team owner. It replaced the one we'd spent $120 million on twenty-five years ago, though in the interim y'all had been forced to watch us build a new basketball arena and baseball park.  Funny how we struggle to find the money to help our schools, though; too bad education doesn't come as cheap as hollow promises and the rhetoric of self promotion.

1 comment:

R. V. Dump said...

I heard that interview and immediately thought "I wonder what Mr. Riley would have to say about that?". Should have checked earlier, but I kind of forgot (bourbon).