Sunday, April 27, 2014

Russ on Reading: Trouble in River City: The Manufactured Crisis in Education

Russ on Reading: Trouble in River City: The Manufactured Crisis in Education:



Trouble in River City: The Manufactured Crisis in Education


Perhaps you remember Professor Harold Hill, the charming con man from The Music Man, the Tony Award winning musical and popular film. In this story, set the early 1900s, Phony Professor Hill hatches a scheme to convince the community to buy band instruments and unifiorms for the school children from him, promising to shape the children into a marching band. Of course, Professor Hill knows nothing about music or bands and intends to skip town with his ill-gotten gains. 

In order to make this scheme work, Hill invokes the time-tested strategy of the shyster, the manufactured crisis. Hill convinces the good people of River City that their children are going to hell in a handbasket because they don't have an after school activity. In this more innocent time, hell was represented as a pool hall, where bored children would idle away there time and be influenced by the nefarious characters that lurk there. This is a musical, remember, so Professor Hill sings the song "Ya Got Trouble."

I say ya got trouble,
Right here in River City!
With a capital "T"
And that rhymes with "P"
And that stands for Pool.


Hill makes his financial killing, but because this is a happy story, he admits the error of his ways, shows he really does have a heart and marries Marian, the town's librarian.

Let's move this story ahead a few decades. The modern day Professor Hill and Marian the librarian have 2 children about to enter college. The family needs 
Russ on Reading: Trouble in River City: The Manufactured Crisis in Education:

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