Friday, July 30, 2010

A Letter from the Chancellor

Dear Principals:

As you know, the scores on state tests were drastically reduced.  Some kids failed and we didn't find out about it until a few days ago.  In fact, we didn't even offer them summer school.   We're going to double down our efforts to deal with this.

To make sure we reach these kids, we're going to cut your budgets.  This way, you can offer them fewer services and larger class sizes.  But make no mistake, we believe in you.  That's why we take no responsibility when things go awry.  To show our continued good faith, we take no responsibility for this whole test thing either.  In fact, when shrill troublemakers like Diane Ravitch and Leonie Haimson questioned the results, we vehemently and repeatedly denied the scores were gamed.  Be assured the public forgot this long ago if they didn't simply ignore it in the first place.

I know that for many of us, it's dispiriting and disappointing to see so many more failures. But we must see this not as a roadblock, but as an important next step in our commitment to close every public school in New York City as soon as possible.  Once we do that, we can replace them with charter schools and you can fire all the teachers you like, for any reason, or for no reason at all.  We guarantee, whatever else happens, an abundance of scapegoats.

Sure, the lowered grades do not look good.  But they give me renewed faith we can blame the UFT for everything that's gone wrong over the last few years.  Clearly they are a bunch of saps who can't tell which way the wind blows.  First they invited Bill Gates to the AFT convention.  They applauded wildly for Bill, who along with our good friends at Wal-Mart, enabled all the school closings and test-score mania.  And now they're coming back to DC to ask for Race to the Top funds.   Make no mistake, neither Bill nor Wal-Mart will be holding us responsible for this humiliating episode.  Nor will the Daily News or the New York Post.

They will blame the teachers, and we'll solemnly nod our heads.  We'll spend all the 700 million writing tests designed to fire as many teachers as possible.  The 700 million won't be nearly enough, so we'll have to economize further.  We've already announced that teachers will not get a raise, and that will become a standing policy.  With the money we'd have wasted on teacher raises, we'll design even more tests so as to fire more teachers.  Eventually the entire work force will be non-union, and we can pay whatever we like, hire anyone we want, and they won't need no stinking degrees.  We can use DVDs instead of real teachers, and if kids don't learn we'll simply swap out the DVDs.  Then we'll swap out the kids.  If we do this frequently enough, no one will be able to follow what's going on, so results will make no difference.

I have the utmost confidence if we proceed in this fashion, the editorial pages will all say we're doing a great job, and New Yorkers will believe them.  After all, anyone with money sends their kids to private schools, as Mayor Bloomberg and I did, and those who can't afford private school work far too many hours to follow what goes on.

Otherwise, how would we have overturned their votes and gotten a third term based on test scores any thinking person could see were juked to the max?
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