Hi, I'm Michelle Rhee. At a time like this, I think it's only fit we redouble my efforts to ensure our reforms reach every student in these United States. After all, people as wealthy as Broad, Gates, and the Walmarts are paying good money for these reforms, and if they weren't very, very smart, why would they have all that money?
Of course every student deserves a good teacher, and the only way to determine whether or not the teacher is good is by the test scores of students. Here at Students First, we don't believe in all that touchy-feely nonsense about role models and self-image. We believe in good teachers, and we have absolute faith in them, except that no matter how good they are, they can't be trusted to write tests themselves. That's just one reason we ignore everything they say or do that isn't related to test scores.
In New York City, where we've just opened up a chapter of Students First, we're pushing heavily for an evaluation system that will get teachers fired if their test scores don't measure up. In fact, rather than spending money on wasteful nonsense like reducing class sizes or paying teachers, we're spending hundreds of thousands in corporate cash to ensure that we have a system that will get teachers fired when they need to be, and that is as soon as possible.
The only real way to keep students safe is to make sure we test them all the time. We know, of course, that this will not reduce gun violence or poverty. But let's be honest--in times like these, we have to do what we can. Our corporate sponsors, frankly, are not interested in widespread efforts to curb these problems. By firing teachers, by weakening their unions, by keeping their pay down and tossing about nonsensical and ineffective merit pay schemes we can keep people from focusing on these things, make millions for corporations that might otherwise be wasted on classrooms, and keep people from thinking too much about how awfully little our sponsors pay in taxes.
That's why I'm able to come to you today and say there are no excuses. If test scores don't go up, heads of unionized teachers will roll and the public will feel something has been done. People who work in Walmart for less than sustenance wages will no longer have to curse teachers for having benefits or reasonable salaries, because we'll put an end to that as well.
If kids are undernourished, if they have interrupted formal education, if they don't speak English, if they have special needs, diagnosed or otherwise, rest assured that we will put Students First by closing their schools and firing their teachers. While this will not actually prevent or discourage any future tragedies, we're certain that people will feel much better if their anger can be redirected at unionized teachers.
Remember, we're here whenever you feel like blaming teachers for education, or indeed whatever you like. Condaleeza Rice and Joel Klein just put out some study saying it was a matter of national security. We have high-priced consultants who can rationalize pretty much anything.
Thank you America, and remember our pledge--we will continue to put Students First right until their 18th birthdays.