In Mayor Bloomberg's New York, accountability is paramount. For example, if your car is snowed in, it's your fault for parking it on the street. If you'd had any sense, you'd have brought it into your living room, where it could have stayed nice and warm. Don't suppose for a moment his chauffeur hasn't garaged his limo, and you should have garaged yours too.
So when the two genius principals at Jamaica High School decided to quash a play critical of Klein and the school closings, the DOE said they'd have been fine with it. After all, as a principal whose school can be closed at any moment, why would you worry about what Chancellor Klein thinks? Chancellor Klein wants the total unvarnished truth. When there's trouble, you should bring it to his attention immediately.
In fact, Jamaica High School has some experience with that. When Joel Klein said he wanted every incident scrupulously reported, their principal followed the directive. Imagine his surprise when, as a result, his school was placed on a list of persistently dangerous schools and quickly thereafter slated for closure. So, in review, tell the absolute unvarnished truth to the DOE so they can close your school and ruin your career.
It's understandable, perhaps, that the principals may have been reluctant to deal with that truth thing and face the consequences. Surely they didn't anticipate the publicity its censorship would provoke (though they really should have). But now that it's been in all the papers, the DOE has a message--the same one as always--it's not our fault.
It's not our fault the play was censored. It's not our fault dozens of schools are closing. It's not our fault the test scores were inflated. It's not our fault we pushed mayoral control on the basis of faulty test scores. It's not our fault class sizes are exploding. It's not our fault your school is overcrowded. It's not our fault you're learning in a trailer instead of a classroom, and it's not our fault your kid is running around outside in gym shorts when there's snow on the ground.
What we need, apparently, is more accountability. But only for teachers. And starting today, you'll be hearing Cathie Black sing that song, as Joel Klein has moved on to his dream job, whoring himself out for Rupert Murdoch.
Views expressed herein are solely those of the author or authors, and do not reflect views of my employers, the United Federation of Teachers, the MORE Caucus or any other union caucus.
Stories herein containing unnamed or invented characters are works of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.