Sunday night brings us the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead, Season 3.
Fans finally get to watch as two leaders, mirror images of one another, lead their two groups of zombie apocalypse survivors into a decisive battle.
“Rick” and “The Governor” parallel each other in that both have done unusual and extraordinary things to keep their assorted followers alive in gruesome circumstances. Both, in their own way, are relentlessly positive. Graphic novel creator Robert Kirkman conceived of Rick and The Governor, in fact, as “two sides of the same coin.” Much of the television drama – that is, much of the drama that does not involve brain splitting zombies – involves watching this “single” character separate (or unbundle) out in to two parts: one very appealing, one not so much.
As Season 3 approaches the holiday or mid-season break, Rick has emerged as decent as ever while the other (“The Governor”) has turned “creepy” into a whole new kind of adjective. To use current school reform speak, the character of Rick “disaggregated” for a few days after losing his wife a few episodes back; but compared to The Governor, who keeps his zombie daughter Penny around for good night kisses, Rick’s temporary bout with psychosis looks minor. The Governor is still fooling a few right minded folks in to climbing in to bed with him, dead head aquariums to stand in for a TVless world notwithstanding. Relentlessness and single mindedness certainly has its advantages.
The cry of Rick’s new born daughter, though, seems to have seeped through this leader's distress and restored not only his sanity but his admirable pragmatism.
Those involved in Michigan’s Public School system – and that would be just about everyone in the state as school “Districts” help define most communities – will have to wait a bit longer to see how things shake out with our own Governor/Rick conflation.
Rather than encourage his adherents to work with current education leaders and school systems across the state the Governor the New York Times said "eluded labels" (August 18, 2012) and Bill Ford said "didn't get bogged down in partisan stuff" is instead urging a Republican majority House and Senate to rush legislation (HB 6004 and, perhaps, HB 5923) through a lame duck session – and ignore the pleas of educators and many, many parent citizens. It is now increasingly clear to all that these two pieces of legislation set the stage for the rewrite of the 1979 School Aid Act drafted by long time K-12 reformer and John Engler stalwart, Richard McLellan. This isn't so much reform to help troubled Districts as it is wholesale destruction to bring on a brave new world led exclusively by The Mackinac Center.
When the Governor's gal from Ada, Lisa Lyons, got some pushback last week the HB6004 meetings didn't go exactly as planned (although they should be able to wrap up next week). Michigan? We are a national story again in education and this time not just for being dead last in what we give to support higher education!!! The Governor has emerged anew in the headlines.
If all goes well for the Governor ( I mean Snyder, not The Walking Dead character), public education will change irrevocably in this state. All Districts have been systematically defunded over the past decade but passage of these mutually corroborating pieces of law will make it virtually impossible for the “District” as most of us understand the term to survive in that the limited dollars of K-12 funding will go year by year to assorted charters that the Governor clearly hopes will do a better job than the current system.
The Washington Post is having to run different kinds of articles these days, detailing the objections of thousands of Michigan citizens asking President Obama not to reward the Snyder’s EAA “Race to the Top” money. (Alas, for public education advocates, who still think President Obama has something to offer them, neither President Obama nor Arne Duncan would know a public education school if it jumped up and bit them in the ... -- one good thing that might emerge out of this whole debate is the traditional alignment of Republican pro-Charter v. Democrat pro-public as even Oakland County moderates are hedging just a wee bit on the legislature's lame duck attempt to remap the whole the state).
So: Does the pragmatic Rick so many admired still stand a chance against "The Governor"? Or will he stay "disaggregated"? Tune in Sunday to AMC and then catch the show in Lansing first thing Monday AM.