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Who will win? "Rick" or "The Governor?"

Who will win in Michigan and the midseason Finale of The Walking Dead? Rick or The Governor?

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.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Charles Gaba December 02, 2012 at 03:26 PM
I've never seen the show (I had to look up the characters to confirm that you didn't make them up), but this is brilliant. Gov. Snyder does indeed seem to have some sort of weird Jeckyll/Hyde thing going on. His actions on the Bridge and his acknowledgement the other day that climate change is, you know, real (which shouldn't be "controversial" but these days, sadly, is) are eyebrow-raising positive "Jeckyll" surprises in an otherwise "Hyde"-filled agenda...one of the most disturbing of which is this package of bills that he and his cohorts in the state legislature are trying to cram through during the lame duck session. Thank you for all of your research and reporting on the Oxford Study and these bills over the past few months; I acknowledge that while many of us were engrossed in the School Board election, you were one of the few people paying attention to this legislation which, if passed, would in many ways make both the school board, the superintendent and even, potentially, the newly-approved BHHS almost irrelevant. The levels of irony here are staggering.
Bloomfield1876 December 02, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Spare us the drama Ken, I can't wait for the educational reform package to pass putting education back in the hands of parents and out of the hands of the educational monopoly led by the likes of Glass and Markavitch - who are in my opinion nothing more than self serving CEO's.
Neal Charness December 03, 2012 at 02:21 AM
Despite B1876's vitriol the real answer is that the Snyder approach will absolutely remove education from the parents and put it in a state beaurocracy subject to the whims of electoral politics. The "education monopoly" diatribe is the same venom B1876 raised during the school board election. This really strikes me as an attempt to get even with the teachers who have always been supporters of the Democratic Party without really much consideration of the education of our children. I only hope these bills are subject to recall as was the emergency manager bill.
Mike Reno December 03, 2012 at 01:07 PM
I’m sure collaboration would be welcome. However, aside from more money, and the elimination of any accountability standards… what more do “current education leaders and school systems across the state” want? They sing the same song over and over again. As if we needed more proof of the absurdity of the system when left to its own devices… did you see the recent report in the Freep on teacher evaluations. 97% of the teachers are rated as effective or highly effective. 97%. Lake Wobegon. Oh, and the demeaning “Governor’s gal” reference was real classy.
R Gibson December 03, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Mike you are absolutely right. The new teacher evaluations are a complete and utter joke. First of all it is almost all totally subjective. The Principal is the evaluator. Guess what, if you’re not buddy buddy with the Principal then you don’t get a good review. But who says the Principal knows what he or she is doing. Lansing didn’t have the forethought to put in place a system to review the teachers effectively or the Principals. The Principals are just as protected as the teachers when it comes to losing their job. So where is their accountability? I would like to remind you that it was this Governor, this administration, the Mackinaw Center, and this Legislature’s idea. Yes the MEA fought it all the way and lost. Now who owns it? It isn’t the democrats. We do, the republicans. What we needed was a thoughtful and effective evaluation process for teachers. Not another hair brain idea by a bunch of politicians and bureaucrats in Lansing position themselves for another election. Now we have a process that is a joke, that in some instances pacifies those calling for reform and effectiveness and will pretty much fall by the wayside as soon as administrations change. Now you and others want to let these same people fundamentally alter how we deliver education in Michigan.

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