Monday, September 27, 2010

Chancellor Klein Blogs Waiting for Superman

I'm shocked that the petty, stupid, lazy teachers in my employ see this brilliant new film as an attack on teachers.  It's nothing of the sort.  It's a work of art in which teachers are highly revered.  Of course, I'm not talking about the teachers in the schools I run.  They are a bunch of whining fussbudgets.

With them, it's always, "Oh, I have to follow the contract, and you can't put more than 50 kids in that music class, and how come I don't get a raise just because every other city employee got one?"  I mean, have you ever heard anything so juvenile?  Just because PERB insisted they take the city pattern when it was crap is no reason we have to offer it when it's attractive.   And then they have the audacity to whine this filmmaker doesn't like teachers.

30 years after President Reagan introduced A Nation at Risk, we're spending a whole lot more money and accomplishing nothing whatsoever.  For example, all the test scores that we've been boasting about since we got into office turned out to be total crap, but does that suggest we shouldn't plod blindly ahead with our bold agenda?  Of course not!  And thank goodness we have visionary filmmakers like Davis Guggenheim who neither follow local news nor amend their brilliant works of art to reflect our miserable test scores or the overwhelming rejection our ideas by both NY and DC voters.

Of course this wonderful film is not anti-teacher.   And it certainly shows that there are both good charters schools and bad charters schools.  There are all sorts of charters schools.  I love charters schools.  Charters schools are all about giving parents choices  Every parent should have the choice to enter a lottery and try to get admission to a charters school. As the movie points out, one in five charters schools are really good.  So if they win the lottery, they get a one in five shot at getting into a good charters school.  Those are pretty good odds for poor people.   It's one in five multiplied by whatever the chance of winning the lottery is.  What more could a bunch of poor people want? 

Let me tell you something, I've had it up to here with those whining teachers, with their contracts and their lunch periods and their health benefits whining to me that all schools ought to be good.  Sometimes I think those English teachers read Candide and don't even know it's parody.  This is not the best of all possible worlds, folks.  It's New York friggin City, fer cryin' out loud!  Jeez, I close schools all over the place, and when the new ones don't work I close them too.  It's not my fault if kids still fail tests after I move them into new schools!  That's why teachers need more accountability.

Anyway, just like in the charters schools,  I want to empower public school teachers.  Let them take the initiative, put on hardhats, let them spend weekends, summers and nights building the new schools if they really want to do something more than complain.  After all, I give them 110 dollars a year for teacher's choice and they can do whatever they want with that money! Why are they always coming to me, with oh, my building is overcrowded, falling down, and oh, I want a classroom instead of a closet, the place is filthy, and oh, there are bedbugs on the carpet the kids sit on when I read to them from my rocking chair?  Do they thank me for buying them the rocking chair?  Of course not! Why can't they pick up a vacuum, or buy a can of Raid, or do whatever it takes?  Geoffrey Canada does whatever it takes.  If he has to dismiss an entire grade to get the grade, he does it!   If it weren't for those darn contracts, public schools could do that too.

But the public school teachers just blather on, expecting me to spend the hundreds of millions of dollars I got to reduce class size on reducing class sizes.  So what if I raised them instead?    Anyway, we just created 3,000 seats in Queens alone.  If we do that every year for ten years, and the population doesn't go up, we'll be caught up in just a few brief decades.  If you think about how long ago dinosaurs roamed the earth, what's thirty lousy years?  Jeez, can't those teachers just sit in their cramped rooms and shut up, for the love of Mike?  Don't they know we're building a hundred million dollar charters school for Geoffrey Canada, who does whatever it takes?  

Let me tell you something, the guy who made the Superman film and I have the greatest respect for those who teach children.  He doesn't hate those fat, lazy, overpaid miserable public school teachers, neither do I, and if they think we do, they're a bunch of malodorous paranoid lunatics.  I call on the unions to abandon their contracts and let me pay them whatever I feel like.  I'm a nice guy.  They can trust me.  They think I don't care but it isn't true.  I care a lot and that's why I want them to work whenever I say, for whatever I pay.  Because it's all about the kids and that's the only fair way to do it.   When the kids grow up they can work for me too, maybe even in a charters school that does whatever it takes.  Look, let's face it, all the schools I run are pretty awful and if I can't fire the teachers every time people complain, sooner or later people are gonna start blaming me.  Maybe during our fifth or sixth term people will start pointing fingers at us, no matter what the editorials at the New York Post say.

That's just unacceptable.  After all, kids can't afford to pay union dues and their parents can't afford to send them to elite private schools like the ones my kids and the mayor's went to.  What?  You don't think we're gonna send our kids to crappy public schools or dehumanizing charters schools, do you?

Finally, to help kids all over the city, I'm cutting school budgets 2.7%, on top of the cuts I already made.  This tough love will teach them to do whatever it takes.  Also, next year I'm probably gonna lay off teachers even though they haven't gotten a raise or a contract.  Fortunately, in the charters schools, contracts are not an issue since we can fire people whenever we feel like it.  That's just one  reason we need more charters schools.
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