It happens. You’re so busy trying to sell PARCC to another state, or desperately trying to not lose yet another state as client. Or you’re off at another “Chiefs for Change” conference, trying to stay as nationally visible, just in case, Just. In. Case., a Republican takes the White House. Or maybe it seems that all you’re doing these days is reading yet another resignation letter from a staffer and running around like crazy as your entire department back here in little ‘ol New Mexico continues to miss deadlines, make mistakes and generally implode.
It happens. You’re New Mexico Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera, and it happens.
You’re swamped and you forget a few things. Naturally, you don’t want ADMIT that you can’t remember certain things, not in those extremely rare cases when you actually have to talk to the press. No, better to do the “you never call, you never write, we never talk anymore” hectoring Mom speech and say it’s all the litigants’ fault. That should work. This is New Mexico. Good thing, too, because that shit would never work later on, when you’re where you really want to be.
Meanwhile, you’re racking your brain, in between reading the scant few CVs that have come in for the plethora of positions open in your department, looking through your email history and trying to remember something, anything, about this damn “gag order.”
“Did we do that?” You ask out loud, alone, in your little-visited office. “I don’t remember that at all,” you reply, aloud, to no one.
And you sink back in your office chair, the one you’ve never really been comfortable with, trying to avoid a look at the desk calendar, the one with the Xs over every passing day as you countdown how many more you have left before you can get out of this shit “showcase job” and move inside the Beltway, either working for Trump or making some real cash for a change.
Because right now, sitting in this uncomfortable chair racking your brain about some “gag order” you’ve never given enough of a rat’s ass about to even vaguely remember, the only thing that’s getting you from yesterday to today to tomorrow is making that X on the calendar date. You reach for the Sharpie like a morning drunk trying to act dainty as they frantically grab for the pitcher of mimosas. You deserve this. You deserve this X.
And we’re here at Better Burque to help you, Hanna Skandera. For while it’s a tad embarrassing you obviously have never checked out our former iteration, Burque Babble (or maybe you’ve just forgotten about it, too. You’re busy. It happens.), we’ve put together a short list of Fall 2014/Spring 2015 blogposts and newspaper stories regarding the “gag order” signed loyalty oath you and your Pearson/PARCC cronies put before teachers at woeful staff meetings all over New Mexico. Let’s see, we’ve got:
- The story in the Journal from October 16, 2014 noting that teachers were being forced to sign an agreement stating they cannot “disparage or diminish the significance, importance or use of standardized tests.”
- The Burque Babble post from October 23, 2014 in which we compared signing the loyalty oath to living in North Korea.
- The post from the following day that “parages” (as opposed to disparage) the testing through a rather droll, it must be humbly said, week-by-week preview of the 2014-2015 testing calendar.
- The second part of this week-by-week preview posted three days later, on October 27, 2014.
- Analysis the following Spring in the Washington Post about how silly your “disparage” loyalty oath was. Yeah, Washington, as in Washington, D.C. As much as we would love to think you read Better Burque/Burque Babble as often as the Washington Post, we’re thinking this Post piece might best kick-start your memory of the “gag order” brouhaha.
NOW do you remember, Hanna? Remember? Do you? Don’t ya? Yeah, those were the days…
You’re welcome. Anytime.