Do you see this as a shift?
The 80s – we had teachers and “heads” and they did battle. Teachers tried to get kids to study and catch drug use and generally keep us from acting older than we were . And potheads countered by wry comments to make fun of the system. Personally sympathetic to both sides, clever directors made good movies about the tension. I am pretty sure Socrates complained about “young people these days.” So basically, outside of new drugs and electric guitars, the 80s were solving the same social problems that Socrates whispered to Plato.
2012 – The Principal of the Year (A National Award) and many districts in major cities now have teachers cheating. Collectively principals, teachers, and supers are getting together and falsely improving students’ test scores. 37 states are currently flailing at figuring out how to have the system investigate itself. You don’t believe this moral corruption could be that systemic. I didn’t believe 37 of 50 states either. 11 different principals and 2 school Superintendents in Atlanta. The national board of superintendents nominated this liar while she was under indictment for the very acts that are now proven. She took home the trophy anyway. And these teachers were protected by their own systems and unions. That is a much harder problem than straightening Spicoli. Correcting the 80s pothead was relatively straightforward. Life turned most folks around, and a few tragedies did occur. But try to figure out how even a normal person makes it through when teachers, principals, and superintendents teach children that cheating is OK. It makes you very sympathetic to Spicoli’s Patchouli Oil and sophomoric giggling. It makes me less sympathetic to spouting bureaucrats warbling about everything being priority #1.