Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Blah Blah Black Sheep

Well, Cathie Black's been let out of her cage after a good two weeks of Sarah Palinizing and what insights has she gleaned in the hour or two she spent in public schools?  Looks like she's fixing to fire teachers.  There's no better way, apparently, to help city children than by firing their teachers.  Arne Duncan and Bill Gates have determined larger class sizes are the way to go, and Cathie is gonna help them get their wish.

Now when Cathie fires teachers, which she has already determined to do, the way she wants to do it is Mike Bloomberg's way, however the hell she feels like it.  That's why she wants to get rid of last in first out.  You see, teachers with no experience have a lot of enthusiasm and she doesn't want to lose them.  Perhaps, in that case, it would be better not to fire them. But Cathie doesn't think like that.

Since she's already determined to fire people, why not go after the older and higher-paid teachers? That would put a bigger dent in the bottom line. And then she wouldn't have to bother with any of that nasty due process in that inconvenient tenure law. Oh, she wants to get rid of that, too. Perish forbid any American worker should have job security. We'd all be better off if people like Cathie Black could fire us whenever the mood struck them, for any reason whatsoever or for no reason at all.

I don't know about you, but it seems to me that job security becomes more important as you get older. When I started teaching I wasn't married, didn't have kids, and lived in a hovel of a rented apartment. I'm not complaining, but it was a lot easier to lose my job under those circumstances. If they want to get rid of me now, it ought to be for a reason other than the inconvenience of paying my salary. There is a process for getting rid of teachers, and it's not my fault Joel Klein spent years trying to get rid of teachers who gave away watches or used DOE fax machines, making a mockery of the system and failing miserably in his efforts.

But Cathie Black agrees with everything Joel Klein did.  That's fine with me.  Let her go after teachers for nonsense. There's a reason teachers need tenure, and that's to protect us from demagogues like Cathie Black, who get into education for two weeks and have the audacity to behave as though they're experts.

I wouldn't want her teaching my kid.  Fortunately, she isn't licensed to teach, and they aren't yet handing out waivers for that.
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