Friday, January 07, 2022

Chancellor David Banks Doesn't Care About Our Safety

At 5:42 AM I was driving on Mill Road in Freeport, where I live. I was approaching BJs when I lost control of my Rav4, which has 4 wheel drive. I skidded into a lamppost. Fortunately, I was not hurt. I could not see any damage to my car other than the cracked license plate holder, but time will tell about that. I turned around and came back home. I'm not risking my life to go into my school building and likely as not teach no one.

Conditions are dangerous out there. Clearly roads are covered with black ice. If this happened to me, worse happened to someone else. Meanwhile, David "Soaring High" Banks, in one of his very first decisions as chancellor, chose to open the schools rather than go remote for one lousy day. Eric Adams wants schools open no matter what, and Banks serves at his pleasure. 

Meanwhile, Adams is holding Zoom meetings, because perish forbid HE should be out in the snow with us. He's doing business remotely, and that makes sense. Why on earth does it NOT make sense to hold remote classes for over a million people? Are we his "low skill workers?" Are we the ones who can't handle a corner office like he can? Is that why our lives are not as important as his own?

Clearly Adams and  Banks did not consider that we're already missing 30-40% of our students, and close to that of our staff. After all, why should they worry about things like that? They've got gala luncheons to attend. They've got Important Things to consider. For example, how are they going to rationalize not bothering to do PCR tests for every person in every building? What are they going to say when COVID explodes? Tough to say, since it already has and they're mum on the topic.

It's obvious to me, a lowly teacher, that the COVID absences plus the weather absences will result in a wasted school day. If I had made it in, I certainly wouldn't have done anything that didn't need to be repeated. Anything else would be wasteful, since it would have been a loss to most of my students. In fact, it would be unfair to present them with new material at the expense of the majority, who would surely not be there. 

I'll leave it to Banks and the Great Minds he employed, at great cost to the city, despite his very public complaints about how much money is wasted in education. While Banks is "soaring high," (and that's how he closed his letter to us, in case you didn't know) people on the ground are having a very hard time. If Banks really cared about saving money, he wouldn't have opened and heated all those buildings for so few people to come in. Of course, that's not accounting for the risks they take. Why should Banks worry about that? He's surely got people to transport him. He's surely too important to drive himself.

I have come in on every snowy day we've been open, since I started teaching back in 1984. For the record, I am never going to do it again. Put a letter in my file, Mr. Banks. I'll post it on the blog and frame it.

This morning, Banks and his boss Adams, Eva Moskowitz's Six Million Dollar Man, put over a million people in mortal peril. If anything happens to a single one of these people, it's on their heads. 

Update: This was picked up by Queens Chronicle, which you can read right here. They rightly point out that Adams was seen outdoors later on, but it was he who posted this Zoom meeting, along with Deputy Chancellor Dan Weisberg. Add them both to my list of people who don't care about the safety of the million-plus people who attend NYC schools daily.

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