Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Doin' the Bloomberg Shuffle

There you are, teaching some class, when a bunch of highly-efficient suits come in to measure the room. Obviously, it has to be improved before a gaggle of Mr. Bloomberg's incredible small schools takes it over. I mean, who could possibly learn in such a dismal environment? That's why they're going to give Mr. Bloomberg's new small school advantages that you and your lowlife kids couldn't possibly appreciate.

They'll just close your school, send the undesirables to some other overcrowded school, and when that school gets as bad as your school was, they'll close that one too. That way they always appear to be doing something. More importantly, they'll always have so many things in flux that "accountability" will never touch their gilded doorsteps.

At Jamaica High School, teachers have taken matters into their own hands, and have now made Chancellor Klein actually look in the eyes of those who'll be displaced by his next big reshuffle of "accountability." Of course, the chancellor tends to be fumfering around with his Blackberry at times like these, displaying his utter contempt for any dissent whatsoever at these meetings and ignoring any unpleasant realities that intrude upon his "reforms."

I have great respect for James Eterno, the thoughtful and active chapter leader at Jamaica High School. It's admirable that he's taking a stand for working teachers. Unfortunately, Chancellor Klein's puppetmaster has already declared it's "Children First" in NYC. To show how much regard he has for children, he dumps them into trailers, onto toxic waste sites, and into unconscionably overcrowded and decrepit facilities. Furthermore, he's repeatedly announced that the needs of non-billionaire adults come last (which is ironic, since the overwhelming majority of the children he places first will grow up and become non-billionaire adults).

Now if he treats the children he places first in this fashion, I can only imagine how much regard he holds for Mr. Eterno and his colleagues, none of whom (to my knowledge) qualify as billionaires. But I wish the Jamaica teachers all the luck in the world. It's certainly not their fault that the current administration indulges in "reforms" rather than good teachers, reasonable class sizes, and decent facilities for public schools.

And it's just another day in Mr. Bloomberg's New York.
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