In this season given over to wrapping-up the designated twelve-month unit’s worth of happenings, Education may be mentioned nominally as an issue of great import while in matter of fact, there is very little gravitas escorting it. As vested and as mesmerized as the next by all things education-political, yet along with everyone else, I find myself sort of glazing-over when confronted with the reporting of it.

Yet, oh does this dispassion matter. For it is in the wake of fatigue and ennui and confusion that so much that is so bad for our children gets enacted. So much!

When will you get involved? It’s time to push through the stultifying verbiage and listen to – really hear — the underlying meaning. In the spirit of the season, here are some sample outrages for your consideration:

• School class sizes on the order of 50 pupils per teacher. I don’t care what the published average norms are [2013-14 range: 24 – 42.5 depending on school- and class-type and grade (42.5 is “district norm” for grades 6-12)]. The reality is that some children are sitting in some classrooms where a single teacher is expected to teach, somehow, your child as one among fifty. Because these norms are averages across the district, games are played with the overall numbers resulting in this untenable situation in not-rare instances. It is not possible for one individual to instruct 50 students, no matter the theorizing otherwise. It simply isn’t. And if this reality doesn’t get your attention as a problem fundamental to our democratic ideal of educational opportunity for all, then our very democracy is under threat, unchallenged.

Squandering of public monies on equipment that enriches a corporate educational juggernaut rather than enables the modern educational needs of public school students. Tomorrow’s internet-age babies may well need computer skills for the workplace, but the underlying pedagogy that informs creativity and problem-solving and fluency in academics remains unchanged. This is the stuff of education; familiarity with the tools of the trade must not be confused with mastering the art itself. Our school system has not been failing children, as evidenced by the crush of foreigners who aspire to higher education obtained in this country. Mechanizing the creative force of teachers who inspire will alter irreparably the meaning of teaching, and learning. This is not a solution chosen in private by those same who would impose it on the public. A separate, and utterly unequal method of education is being financed for private gain with public monies. Our children are the losers. Why is this not enraging?

• De-accessioning human teachers from the pantheon of education relegates future generations to an underclass of the uneducated (above), but it also enables the divestment of today’s workers from any economic value. In obeisance with the imperative of a managing class to diminish the cost of labor continuously, the public is ceding its own value to redundancy in permitting the destruction of unions that protect its middle-class guilds, be they teachers or factory mechanics or physicians. Trade organizations arose in the High Middle Ages and their modern counterpart has informed an age of relative economic equality. Standing by and allowing our own selves to be robbed of power and worth is self-destruction of a spectacular form. Standing in thrall to a winner-take-all mentality leaves an entire democracy mired in deprivation as we substitute wish-fulfillment for innumeracy. Desire to be part of the 1% should not drive approval for its depredations.

Segregating learners along socioeconomic and racial class lines. By sanctioning systems of such inequality we are encouraging ever-narrower associations of monoculture. Today’s schools cater to ever more isolated subpopulations of increasingly less diversity. From an ideal that strove to abolish separate and therefore unequal educational opportunities, we have instituted a false equivalence with “choice” that reinforces segregation. Far from color-blind our schools have sequestered vast communities out of sight, out of mind. 92% of all current LAUSD students attend schools where the poverty concentration in their school is greater than 40% of the students present. 74% of all LAUSD students are title-I eligible. Which means that while 98% of poor LAUSD children attend schools of high poverty concentration, just 2% of these poor kids do not. Conversely, among the 10% of all LAUSD schools where the student body of poor children is in concentration below 40%, nearly 4 in 5 (79%) students are not title I-eligible. Today’s education “Reform” measures separate children into communities of sameness that will never expose them to the melting pot of expectations that abolish preordained opportunity. Are your (grand)children among the 79% of the select 10% of LAUSD lower-poverty-concentration schools? Because many of LA’s not-poor kids do not attend LAUSD at all, but current data on private school enrollment is hard to pin down. But since we can see only what we are exposed to, when not confronted with poverty it is hard to appreciate its challenges. Segregating the relatively wealthy dilutes consciousness of the handicaps confronting the poor. It should be every bit as much your child’s civil right to attend school with a diversity of peoples as it is that of the poor to attend school among their less-disadvantaged counterparts. The injustice is reciprocal and merits equal-opportunity anger.

And yet therein lies the irony. Reported anger does not register; only blandishments do. The means to move change are so hampered by our unwillingness to hear unpleasantness. We wrap up the old year and hope for betterment in the next, but we school ourselves to ignore what ought to be infuriating. Bad things – injustice, poverty, denied opportunities — are being meted out upon our very own children. As a parent, I see the structure of our society as intended to support this next generation. Why do we do any of what we do if not to provide opportunity for them? Opting for disengagement equates to sanctioning inequity. The most important accounting this new year could bring is an acknowledgement of the harm our complacency catalyzes. Let these lists infuriate you. Hear the anger and do not just shut it off. Demand an accounting with accountability.