Can You Afford To Be Who You Are?

The 10-30-15 AP reports: “Alabama Teacher of the Year told she’s unqualified, resigns”. 2015 Alabama Teacher of the Year and 2015 National Teacher of the Year finalist Ann Marie Corgill chose to resign after the Alabama Department of Education deemed her unqualified to teach the class she was assigned by the local school board that had employed her. “”After 21 years of teaching in grades 1-6, I have no answers as to why this is a problem now, so instead of paying more fees, taking more tests and proving once again that I am qualified to teach, I am resigning,” Corgill wrote.” This, all, in a state that requires official proof of identification to exercise the right to vote. To obtain an official ID there requires visiting a registrar in person (akin to the DMV registrars in Ohio). Multiple counties have no state registrar offices capable of doing this. To rectify this inconvenience with their new proof of voter ID law, the state provides a kind of book mobile registrar service, available at a specific site on a specific day and time (for the entire county, not individual municipalities). As with Ann Marie Corgill, the burden of proof to establish who it is you are lies with the individual. Analysis finds evidence of “prove it” requirements and the burden they imply to be widespread, and quite selective. Though most good teachers like Corgill will tell you learning is continuous, ongoing and indeterminate (one thing leads to an unexpected other), students are constantly required to “prove” they are learning (with the exception of Ohio charter schools). Tim Schaffer would have all public assistance recipients pee in the cup to “prove” they aren’t drug users (though self-medicating is ubiquitous and almost the norm throughout the U.S. Such business must be good for Walgreens just chose to buy out Rite Aid). A priority of proof supersedes need in everyday exchange. Ultimately proof of identity requires more than recognition (“so instead of paying more fees, taking more tests and proving once again that I am qualified to teach,”). Analysis finds there to be a correlation between the cost of “proving it” and official legitimacy (What’s in your wallet?). The recent elections, along with the current preliminary, appear to bear this out. The “minor” candidates, hustling for funding, continuously need to “prove” their worthiness while those who have self-financed their campaigns only need to say: “I’ll be terrific!” It seems to be a variation on the snide “If you need to ask (the price), you can’t afford it.” Only in this case it is more like “If you can afford it, you don’t need to prove it.”

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