Archive for April, 2012

Everybody likes a good story, and there’s a doozy brewing in the Park that is Oak.

The short story is that my kid’s school shook down a children’s hospital by withholding funding until a hefty ransom was satisfied.  Wait, I might have my stories crossed here.  Yeah, actually, our school didn’t shake down a children’s hospital.  My bad.  We did, however, make the Illinois Standardized Achievement Test our bitch.  Yeah, that’s right.  The town has become outraged after an anonymous tip by a teacher blew the roof off of a massive conspiracy to defraud the people of the State of Illinois and the State and Federal government.  The goal of the plan was ambiguous at best, but did include a conscious effort to demonstrate to the townsfolk that Mann’s parents are no longer satisfied with only marginally higher scores than the rest of the schools.  We have, for many years, been working to post awkwardly higher test scores than the other buildings in town.  The plan called for a comprehensive tidying of answer sheets by way of erasing stray marks, treating the time element as an advisory, and something about stuck pages.  BOO-YAH!

You see, in our town, there are 8 elementary schools.  There’s Mann School, and 7 others that I can’t quite remember the names of.  The Mann boundaries have a relatively low percentage of Section 8 families in attendance, and sit in a geographically superior part of the Oak Park village foot-print.  It is here that has the village’s tallest trees, the brightest sun and the cleanest air and water.  We are also, remarkably, mosquito-free.  It is for these, and now other reasons, that these seven satellite schools resent MannNation.  The notion that Mann parents are generally as crazy as a load of shithouse rats only adds to the strife.  However, y’all don’t know the half of it.

As a over-bearing parent who not only drinks, but sometimes makes the Kool Aid a la Mann, I can assure you that the corruption goes far deeper than stray marks, extra minutes and something about stuck pages.  For openers, the erasers used in the cleansing of the holy documents were an unauthorized gift from ‘unidentified’ Supporters of the Program.  The whole operation (code-named: Mannifraudcation) was orchestrated using resources unavailable to the rest of the district, and funded with dirty PTO money from savings that would rival many private school endowments.  The differences between Mann and the rest only begin with secret cheating operations.  We also have jets, for whatever we might need jets for.  And corporate backing.  Our MannOnTheMoon space program has been a huge success, sending nearly 80% of our 4th and 5th graders into orbit.  Our 5th grade students also have the option of completing their last year at our sister campus in Tibet, while our 1st and 2nd graders learn about animals on an annual, 6-week safari that visits reserves in Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Uganda.

Truth of the matter is we, Mann families, feel like the rest of the district is riding our coat tails to a land most have simply not earned.  Discussions of breaking the Mann/D97 treaty have now shifted to round-the-clock preparations.  We just can’t be bothered to participate in a community that doesn’t share similar standards.  We firmly believe, if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.  As we’ve all read, our efforts involved more than 20 pupils and a “handful” of teachers in two grades, while there was not a single instance of effort- ahem, cheating– in ANY of the other classrooms at the 7 other schools.  For those outside of the Mann boundaries who may be fundamentally opposed to our policies, thank your lucky stars that you don’t have the money, or the erasers to attempt such a caper.  Money is motivation for the evil, and here in Mannville, we’re throwing it at each other, literally.  Just the other day, my neighbor tossed a flaming bag of bills at my door as a nod to the lower-class folks who joke by doing the same using dog dung.  Occasionally, we kindle the Weber with cash and a few drops of sweat generated by pure hatred for average, working families.

While the rest of town can keep up the hate, and continue with silencing wit like: ‘no wonder Mann scores so high on the test’, the Mann family will get through this difficult time with the use of Flower Power (another Mann exclusive).  Until then, give us a break.  It is exhausting to be us (or to be on our staff).

Until D97 explains exactly why Mann Principal Nimisha Kumar was forced to resign, this family will continue to support our principal, while considering the actions of superintendent Al Roberts a gross over-reaction.


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