I can feel the sweaty rage across the cafeteria, where I'm drinking coffee. He hasn't seen me—too busy yelling. His game face is on, and his team is losing. Coach's battle voice pollutes the air. His words slap, bruise and punch in ways you can't see, but will keep me up all night.
"You faaaaaiiiiiled!" He keeps saying it.The former coach is blaming the students for their poor grades. Some are stupified with shame, smiling, pretending this is cool. They are too old to melt into nothingness and too young to give him the finger.
This is just a snippet from a brilliant article in the Texas Observer on The Testing Machine: or Texas's TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) the standardized test a school is preparing for. The author is Bárbara Renaud González sent from the local university to observe a local public middle school in its effort to prepare for standardized testing that will determine whether it falls into the "low performing" category, lose funding, and possibly lose jobs of teachers and administrators as a result. There are no heroes in this story.