Friday, April 16, 2010

Man in a Hurry

In what simply may have been a case of the natural phenomenon scientists call "a blind squirrel rolling up on a nut," the Chronicle's Teen Columnist recently had a pretty all reet examination of the situational complexities at Lee High School in southwest Houston, which has lost two well-respected principals –– one to firing, the other to getting-out-while-the-getting's-good –– under the new Houston schools superintendent. The columnist noted that the new super –– who initially impressed us as a smile-and-shoeshine sort of fellow (although judging from what we've seen of him on TV that probably should be amended to snarl-and-a-shoeshine) –– had never set foot on the Lee campus, despite overseeing the rending of the school's somewhat delicate fabric. (Lee, as you may have seen and read, has been in the news a bit this school year.) In a follow-up posting last week on her blog, Ms. Falkenberg reported that in the wake of her column* the super was preparing to head down the freeway and actually plant his feet on the campus, and, in response to her email asking him why he was doing so, he had emailed her back that:
Frankly, I have not been able to visit our schools as often as I would like.
Tomorrow, I am visiting Lee and Cashmere (SIC)--two of the schools that the state has labeled as 'failing.' Next week, I plan to visit Jones and several of our other 'failing' or low performing schools.
Obviously the super meant "Kashmere," another HISD school that has been in the news a lot this year. Other than the insertion of the parenthetical "(SIC)" –– that's Latin for "you big dummy" –– Ms. Falkenberg correctly passed on making any ado of the miscue, although some of her online commentators couldn't resist the opportunity.

Our first, admittedly knee-jerk, reaction was: Gee, that's terrible –– the superintendent of schools misspelling the name of an old Houston school that's been all over the newspaper lately and was even the subject of a lengthy investigative report the district ordered up. It certainly did not reflect a reassuring grasp of detail. Upon more sober reflection, though, we realized that the city's top public educator shouldn't be expected to spell the name of one of his schools correctly, especially in an email to a journalist, because, as lots of kids today know, spelling is just so passé.

And anyhow, he spelled L-E-E correctly.

*Unfortunately, Ms. Falkenberg thought it necessary to puff out her chest and aver that she had "called out" the superintendent, thus precluding her immediate promotion to "Young Adult" columnist.

1 comment:

Matt Bramanti said...

I wonder whether she knows that "sic" isn't an acronym.