Kindergarten Cop 2011-2012

'Today I watched Kindergarten Cop (1990) for probably the million-sixth time. After watching this movie I wondered what would happen if the movie took place in the upcoming 2011-2012 school year? The movie has a tough cop, played by former California Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger, going under cover as a kindergarten teacher to find the ex-wife of a ruthless drug dealer and enlist her aid in putting the scumbag away. Needless to say, the kids gain the upper hand on Schwarzenegger who thought the job would be easy. Unable to quit and loose the bad guy, the cop decides, in modified Schwarzenegger fashion, to get tough and kick some kindergarten tail. Some rather unorthodox measures brings the kids in line and they soon love Schwarzenegger's character as he begins to have a soft spot for the kids as well. The kids learn about discipline, physical fitness (a Schwarzenegger pet cause), and what to do if a stranger approaches. These are lessons the kids need for the inevitable confrontation with the bad guys. The experience changes the cop who decides to trade-in his gun and badge and return to the classroom permanently. Nice heartwarming and inspiring movie, especially for teachers right? Let's see, how long would Schwarzenegger's character last today? He would not even get inside the door and if he did he would be in jail and definitely not offered a contract. He is why:

No school principal would let him in the classroom. The cop had no certification and no experience teaching and the principal was going to let him in a kindergarten classroom to try to catch a drug dealer? I don't think so. Granted, another cop with teaching credentials and experience was supposed do the job but she got sick so Schwarzenegger's character had to step in. Possibly, the cop could have posed as a janitor or hall monitor but not a classroom teacher.

Now I don't profess how the police would actually do an undercover operation in a school but let's say he gets in with the kids. Now what? It seems the kids are not covering the material prescribed by state standards. The kids are too busy learning discipline, physical fitness, stranger danger, getting questioned about their parents, how to evacuate the building for a fire drill, and the Gettysburg Address. Where was the reading, math, and other subjects that the students will be tested on at the end of the year. My goodness! The students were not even taught test-taking strategies! How will the school make AYP? Needless to say, Schwarzenegger's character would not be offered a contract for the next school year and the principal would probably be out the door too. Come to think of it, the actress who played the principal (Linda Hunt) is now the federal agent in charge of the Los Angeles branch of NCIS.

What about the abused boy? Schwarzenegger's character really gave to that father didn't he? Actually, the cop would have gone to jail for assaulting the father. Also, the cop would have been kicked out of school for subjecting the school district to a lawsuit. Of course it would have been just one of the several lawsuits filed over having an unqualified cop in the classroom in the first place that exposed the children to danger. The cop would also be in trouble for not reporting the suspected abuse when he first heard about it which actually is a good thing.

Finally, what about the ferret? We can't have him in the class because the district's risk management specialist says it is a potential liability. Personally I am not against class pets because I used to have a hamster named Jeb Stuart running around my room and my high school students loved it. Alas, word came down from district and all the pets had to go. Perhaps Schwarzenegger's character can find out what the teacher on the Target commercial did with her hamsters, Lewis and Clark.

While Kindergarten Cop makes for an entertaining movie, it is unrealistic in terms of actual education. It does show even a tough cop can just walk in and become a teacher just like that. Since the movie came out in 1990 which predates NCLB, we can't gig it on high-stakes testing. Yet, there is plenty that exposes the movie as an over simplification of teaching which continue with this summer's  Bad Teacher. Again it is supposed to entertainment isn't it?

Please let know if I missed any other scenes.