Michelle Rhee today explained why she and her reformy buds were so reluctant to address the poverty issue. "We really didn't want to say this, because we're very sensitive about hurting the feelings of teachers. We have deep respect for teachers, which is why we want to fire so many of them and make the rest work in non-union charters, where they can either grow quickly or lose their jobs."
"Anyway, like everyone, we've been troubled by the fact that all the failing schools contained high percentages of students in poverty. This correlation has been used by our enemies, like Diane Ravitch, to conclude that poverty causes poor test scores. Bill Gates has repeatedly stated that he can't cure poverty, and everyone knows that anything Bill Gates cannot do simply cannot be done. After all, he has all that money, and he knows absolutely all there is to know about mosquitoes and toilets."
"In any case, despite his reluctance, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has done a new study, and this study has found a 100% correlation with high-poverty schools and the presence of unionized teachers. Sadly, there is no other conclusion but that unionized teachers cause poverty. That's why Students First is now beginning a campaign to remove unionized teachers from our schools, and thus cure poverty.
"It's become crystal-clear that only hedge-fund magnates, rich folks like Bill Gates, Eli Broad, and the Walmart family care about poor children. In fact, the Walmart family consistently offers them opportunities to make over ten bucks an hour when they get out of schools. Education advocates like Newt Gingrich are trying to tear down barriers that keep them from earning money before they're 16. After all, couldn't we save precious tax dollars if we had our children cleaning floors and removing asbestos, rather than paying expensive unionized custodians?"
"We're making great progress. Michigan, traditionally a bastion for unions, is now a right-to-work state. And in New York, Reformy John King has finally given us the opportunity to fire most of those poverty-causing NYC teachers. Once we get rid of them, we can devote our time to getting our students into 200-hour a week charter schools, where kids can learn valuable skills that will help them when they get 200-hour a week jobs in Taco Bell or Walmart.
"We did not really want to make this connection public, but now that we have, we're certain you'll be reading more about it on tabloid editorial pages. We certainly hope this provokes the necessary outrage it takes for America to trust the education of its children to demagogues like me, because I assure you, I place your children first. They will be the first to get jobs at Walmart, the first to collect food stamps, the first to get fired at will, and the first to work the longest hours ever for the shortest wage we can muster." HT to Michael Fiorillo
John King was the most unpopular commissioner in the history of NY State. He showed no respect for parents, teachers or student privacy. Ironically, he was intent on protecting his own privacy, and routinely withheld public documents; our Freedom of Information request of his communications with inBloom and the Gates foundation is more than 1 ½ years overdue. His resignation is good news for New York state; hopefully he will be unable to do as much damage at the US Department of Education.