SCHOOL WARS! An educational a. allegory b. satire c. parody d. all of the above (from 12-30-15)

As my students will attest, I am a Star Wars fanatic. I have been since I was 10 years old in 1977 and saw the original movie from the front row. 

As I began to think about the politics within the Star Wars universe, the role the Jedi Knights played in the Old Republic, and the role of the Empire in using fear to create a totalitarian galaxy, I realized I needed to use my comic strip, Mr. Fitz, to write a parody of Star Wars that was also a satire of American Education Reform over the past two decades. I have sometimes felt like old Obi-Wan, hiding out in my cave-class, following the old ways of the Force as I did before the dark times, before the Empire of testing. Of course, some other science fiction and pop culture elements started to seep into the series as well, especially the Borg from Star Trek: The Next Generation. 

I needed to set up Mr. Fitz’s “dream sequence,” but once I did, the series almost wrote itself. I ran the first part this past summer, and the second part wrapped up today. My hope is that we can defeat this evil “Ed-pyre” that has set out to destroy our schools. 

After the end of the summer series, I wanted to wait until December to finish it, to coincide with the release of the newest Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens. Here is the rest of the story…

Our schools have been targeted by the Test Star, which doesn’t just test students, but narrows curriculum, standardizes students, standardizes teachers, and in short, assimilates in a system designed to make a lot of money for testing and curriculum companies. It was never about the kids. We have betrayed our teachers and our students. The time has come to implode the Test Star and take education back from the Ed-pyre.