“When some loud braggart tries to put me down
And says his school is great,
I tell him right away,
Now what’s the matter buddy
Ain’t you heard of my school”
It’s number one in the state.
“So be true to your school now,
Just like you would to your girl or guy.
Be true to your school now
And let your colors fly.
Be true to your school.”
-Brian Wilson and Mike Love
It appears to be No Child Left Behind reporting season here in Minnesota. My ride in this morning featured a long public radio piece about how almost half of the schools in Minnesota aren’t making “AYP” (“adequate yearly progress”—a rather awkward phrase, but one I don’t doubt Love and Wilson could have worked into their song, had they written it forty years later). Schools that don’t make AYP are routinely described as “failing.”
School spirit plays a role to varying degrees in a lot of fiction for teenagers, but I have yet to see any reflection on or mention of what it means to go to a “failing” school. I imagine there must be a wide range of reactions, and I bet they’re all interesting.