(Guest Post by Jason Bedrick)
The COVID-19 crisis has brought out the best and the worst in humanity, from heroic health care workers risking their lives to save others to horrible hoarders who think of no one but themselves.
The same is true in K-12 education, which is facing an unprecedented nationwide shutdown. Some teachers are going above and beyond in trying times to provide their students with a quality education despite trying circumstances. Some are even driving by their students’ homes to offer encouragement.
And then there’s Mark DiRocco.
DiRocco is the executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators. His main concern? Making sure that families DON’T have educational options outside of what his system provides.
As Mike McShane and I detailed in the Washington Examiner today, DiRocco is just one of a number of educrats who have forgotten that our education system is intended to serve students, not the other way around. Policymakers in three states have blocked or restricted access to online charter schools out of a fear that parents might avail themselves of such options while their kids are cooped up at home. DiRocco just made the mistake of saying the quiet part out loud:
“You have got to give the school districts time to make some decisions, make plans, and put alternative learning delivery systems together,” DiRocco told Pennsylvania public radio, arguing that it is not fair to “allow the [online] charter schools to say, ‘Well we are open for business now.’”
When DiRocco talks about what’s “fair,” he’s not talking about what’s fair for or in the best interests of children. Rather than allowing students to access an already-existing schooling option, the forces of the educational status quo want to hoard them as if they were the last roll of Charmin at Walmart.
Hoarding toilet paper is bad enough. Hoarding kids is grotesque.
Ever since 2012,” The Higgy” has highlighted ” individuals whose arrogant delusions of shaping the world to meet their own will outweigh the positive qualities they possess.” By actively blocking families from meeting their children’s educational needs during a global pandemic and treating kids as mere funding units for district schools, DiRocco has proven himself deserving of The Higgy.