Tanner Andrews mug

Tanner Andrews

In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.

Mark Twain observed this more than 100 years ago, and it still remains true today. Indeed, thanks to what I suspect is modern pharmaceutical technology, our Volusia County School Board shows itself to be composed of leaders.

You may recall last year, when the teachers called for the superintendent to be sacked, the School Board responded by extending his contract for a year, with a golden parachute. That goes to show teachers how, in Volusia, they are valued professionals. The superintendent’s raises help to reinforce the message.

In Volusia, we get to watch how leaders act. Last year, the School Board extended the superintendent’s contract to spite the teachers. This year, the School Board sacked the superintendent to spite the taxpayers. That is how true professionals handle things: with spite and malice toward everyone.

The former superintendent is enjoying his golden parachute. My guess is that he is particularly enjoying it now that they got caught administering fake tests at Mainland High. Let someone else explain, because Mr. Russell is gone.

It calls for particularly tricky explanation. Thanks to administrative fakery, many students will be cheated out of college credits for their advanced-math classes. Back in the day, that saved me a year of undergraduate math.

On the other hand, you have to wonder if the fake tests were a sign that the schools are just pretending to teach students. Perhaps it is modeled on the School Board pretending to be adults.

Eventually, however, the report cards come out. Teachers are the front-line troops, and they say that things are going awry. Next, principals slightly restrain their fake enthusiasm when approaching the School Board.

State regulators eventually follow, reporting that we do not have an A-rated school district, despite charging the highest taxes allowed by law. It is probably just a coincidence that only half the annual budget makes it to the classrooms.

Remember, our School Board and district administration are the same bunch of geniuses who have been closing the small, local schools that worked. They build huge new factory schools, and now they must bus kids for miles.

No wonder they sometimes have to just pretend in math class. Act as though real adults were in charge. But we know what the kids are thinking — Mark Twain was right, and we got the cream of the crop.

— Andrews is a DeLand-area attorney and a longtime government critic. For purposes of the column, he finds it convenient that there is so much government to criticize.