Mr. Brown pulls me aside to share his thoughts on the new proposal, "Could I see you, Tom? I want to talk about your one pencil for every student ratio."
"Pretty exciting, huh?" I say, stroking the wax on my handlebar mustache.
"Well, that's the issue. I just don't see it as being the best option for our students. After all, this is about the kids. My concerns aren't in any way related to my comfort level. Trust me," he adds.
"What do you mean?"
"It's academic. I just don't think we need to spend class time teaching pencil skills."
"Neither do I. That's why we'll embed the paper and pencil into the curriculum."
"Yes, but they've been using slates and chalk. They'll be ages behind."
"Okay, but they'll catch up quickly."
"Perhaps, but the high-stakes exams are taken with a slate and chalk. How will they ever reach William McKinley's Caravan to the Top using paper and pencil?"
"But paper and pencil is what they'll use in life."
"Yes, but the United Kingdom is expanding across the world and we cannot compete in an imperialist global economy if our students lag behind because we are focusing our time on paper and pencils."