Principal David Fabrizio is an idiot, but he has pretty high self-esteem.  Such is the outcome where we place the importance of one’s self-esteem over performance and achievement.  One would think they’re tied together.  According to Principal Fabrizio, one would be wrong.  In his world, recognizing the achievement of others so damages the psyche of those who do not achieve that such recognition is dangerous and must be curtailed.  According to our esteemed principal, concentrating on grades “as strange as it sounds, can impinge upon the learning process.”  Those dammed grades get in the way of real learning.  I call bullshit.


Minimal effort, maximum esteem….

After Fabrizio’s original announcement to parents caused a local uproar and went national, he claimed the initial report by a local television station (here) was not true.  And of course, like any good liberal with an agenda, he’s mincing words.  He did in fact cancel the special honors night celebration, even though his supporters at NBC are parroting his flawed logic.  Fabrizio is claiming that he is adding inclusiveness by holding the awards ceremony during school hours with all students present.  Neat-o, a general assembly to honor everyone, excluding honor student parents who have to work during the day.  So in Principal Fabrizio’s world, he cancelled the Honors night event, but not really.  With this type of logic on display, it’s no wonder why we’re graduating kids who can’t even read.

I too have honors students at home.  They work their butts off.  They do get great pride from being recognized for their academic achievement, and when they fail at it, it’s all the more incentive to try harder.  And as parents, we too feel the sense of pride.  Because as parents, we too make commitments to their academic achievements, placing school work as a priority over everything else they do and providing the support and encouragement they need to succeed.  And they’re both intelligent enough to know which of their peers work just as hard as they do and those who can’t or won’t.  In fact, they are constantly being saddled with lower performing “team members”, a common attempt in our school to “help” those under-performing, usually at the expense of a superior grade for kids willing and dedicated to their school work.  Again, it’s all designed to aid in the self-esteem of the under-achievers, over achievers be dammed.

In fact, it’s quite insulting to hear a Principal play the word game as if the majority of his educational stake holders are idiots.  Sorry Mr. Fabrizio, you cancelled the honors night program.  Period.  Maybe a class in logic is called for.  You appear to have made the Honors night program, so important to many students and parents, mutually exclusive, one or the other, from a general assembly where all children can celebrate the honor together.  That is not the case.  Celebrating among their peers during school hours is a great idea, so other students can not only celebrate with them but be inspired by them.  If you had left it at that, you’d have been on the mark.  But as is usual with liberal-minded thinking in academia, you decided that tradition and the celebration of excellence had to be all-inclusive or cancelled and that’s the way you went.  Protecting the self-esteem of those who would not be invited to an Honors banquet pretty much destroys the whole concept of honoring that achievement, which one supposes is your underlying motive anyway.  Heaven forbid a child get to stand up on a podium in front of parents and relatives to be honored for the work, dedication and efforts they all committed to that achievement.

I have a suggestion to the parents of Ipswich.  There is a great self-esteem issue regarding the workers in the school system.  It’s time to do away with the office of Principal, it’s outlived its’ usefulness and destroys the self-esteem of the lunch lady, the janitor, the teachers’ aide and the cross walk guard.  I suggest that the Principal should have the same pay and authority of the lowest paid employee in the school system.  This would promote a more egalitarian work place and we could celebrate the value of everyone equally.  No one gets their feelings hurt.

After all, equalization of outcomes based on feelings is the unstated goal here, the lesson you want every school kid to learn.  Why not walk the walk?