Subscript: Scooby Doo and the Superteacher stories

…One of the reasons people like those “miracle teacher” stories and “miracle principal” tales they consume so avidly (from Sidney Poitier and Edward James Olmos to Michelle Pfeiffer) is that they have a soothing “Scooby Doo” quality to them.

As fans of Scooby (or the parents of small children) may recall, the plot of Scooby is always the same. The mystery detectives (Scooby and his friends) bump into some apparently supernatural event. There are some perils. Lot of chasing around, usually in dark places. Then the thing is resolved (often by Velma, but always as a team effort with help from everyone else), and it turns out that some greedy guys were wearing costumes and playing games with the lighting and sound systems.

Paul Vallas and the rest of those corporate casting types have more in common with Scooby Doo than they’d like to admit. Recently, we noticed that Vallas (who’s been kicked out of Philadelphia after he was caught lying about some important things, like the prospects for an $80 million deficit he claimed wasn’t there) had been hired to “save” New Orleans. The New Age stuff went into high gear, as “news.”

As usual, Vallas posed himself in front of some background shot that subliminally underscored his Good Guy message. In New Orleans, Education Week ran the photo of Vallas in front of Martin Luther King Jr. Back when Vallas was running for Governor of Illinois, The New York Times did the same shot, only instead of Dr. King it was Bobby Kennedy and JFK for background. We guess the idea is that each of these New Age school reform fantasies is channeling some Hollywood morality tale, from “To Sir With Love” through “Stand and Deliver” all the way down to “Freedom Writers”… But every time we see one of these sorry scripts from now on we’re simply going to celebrate by remembering: “Scooby Doooooo! …” 


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