Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Everyone Needs an Editor

Maria Suttmeier, superintendent for the Hudson City School District, writes a column in the Register-Star. Her most recent offering, entitled "The goal--Destination Graduation," talks about her plan to improve the district's graduation rate. In the first two paragraphs of the piece, Suttmeier talks about the importance of destinations and concludes: "The point I am trying to make is captured best in the words of Lewis Carroll, who incidentally wrote the Wizard of Oz, when he said, 'If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there.'"

Well, the quote is from Lewis Carroll all right, but it's not from The Wizard of Oz. Lewis Carroll didn't write The Wizard of Oz; L. Frank Baum did. Lewis Carroll wrote Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and that's where the quote is from.

Later, Suttmeier writes: "A few years ago our district set out on the 'yellow brick road toward the Emerald City' as the image of improved student performance and outcomes." The yellow brick road, the Emerald City--that's The Wizard of Oz.


  1. And you felt a need to point this out on your blog because?

    1. Because, T, Maria Suttmeier is the superintendent of our school district--the leader, the highest paid employee, the person who wants us to believe that she has the plan that will improve the district's abysmal graduation rate. Is it too much to expect that she would be culturally literate enough not to confuse two classic works of children's literature or, failing that, be conscientious enough to make sure that she got the source of a quote, so overused it's become trite, correct in a column that she is putting out there for all--parents and taxpayers in the district--to see?

  2. You are quite correct Carole. Or to quote the late President Harry S. Truman "The buck stops here". Trite but still true.

  3. We really have stepped through the looking glass if calling educators to task for making stupid, inexcusable mistakes is deemed inappropriate.

  4. Get a grip. It was a simple mistake, and you're not even contextualizing it. What the hell have you done to make the situation better for the kids going to school in moldy trailers? Or the kids who are abused or neglected at home? Or the gifted kids who are bored because of the lack of advance programming? Absolutely nothing. You're just a part of the culture of blame, the anti-Bridge program, get-off-Warren-Street-unless-you're-going-to-spend-money, Social Darwinist agenda masquerading as some sort of cultured liberalism. Maybe instead of producing snark you could make an honest proposal.