Thursday, December 04, 2014

Reformy John Has a Message for Us All

Hi, special interest teachers and parents. It’s me, your old pal Reformy John King, and I’m reformier than ever. As you know, a few years back, we instituted new teacher evaluation systems that use multiple measures, including student test scores. We fully expected to fire a whole lot of teachers, particularly given the whole test score thing, but things haven’t worked out quite as we expected.

It's common knowledge we’ve introduced Common Core tests, and kids are failing in droves. Well, not my kids, who I send to a Montessori school, but rather your kids. Like most of you, I actually like my kids’ school, and their teachers, so I don’t want to see them fired. Naturally, you can send your kids to a Montessori school, or Dalton, or wherever President Obama sends his kids, so don’t worry if you don’t like Common Core. Most of these programs run under 30K a year, so if you have a gig like mine it should be no prob.

Anyway, the rest of you know that only about 30% of NY kids are passing the tests. I should know, because I help set the cutoff scores and can predict how many kids will fail in advance. It’s true that most kids have not been taught using our fabulous new Common Core methodology, the one my kids don’t use, but that’s not really the issue. The issue, not to put to fine a point on it, is how can we match up the failure rate of kids to that of teachers, and therefore fire 70% of them?

Look at this from a taxpayer’s point of view. Most of those teachers are in unions, and are paid considerably more than minimum wage. And don’t get me started about the benefits those teachers get. I mean, there’s the health care, and the days off, and we aren’t even allowed to have them come in weekends to clean up the buildings.

Now if we can fire 70% of the state teachers, and if Merryl Tisch can replace the public schools with charter schools, we can test prep your kids (not mine) pretty much 24/7. No more wasting time with all that literature, music and art nonsense. What we need is a generation of kids who know nothing but a, b, c, or d, a generation that can scan for content and summarize rather than frittering away their time reading for enjoyment.

That’s why companies like Walmart invest heavily in the programs I’ve helped bring to your kids and not mine. With a generation used to tedious time-consuming nonsense, folding towels and stocking shelves should be a snap. And with so much rampant failure and so few rewards, I'm pretty confident they'll get right into the swing of working for eight bucks an hour and applying for food stamps to make ends meet. That's my vision for your kids. Not mine.

So please, stop complaining about it. I honestly hate criticism. I was so pissed off the first time I heard it that I canceled my listening tour until Tisch insisted we sit through it to make things look good. But honestly, if I were listening to the likes of you I wouldn't really be doing my job now, would I?

So let's get with the program. By degrading teacher jobs and firing them for no good reason I'm setting up a golden opportunity for your kids to have degrading jobs and be fired for no reason. And the best thing about it is ALL kids will have equal opportunities to get placement in these jobs.

Except mine, of course. That's why I send my kids to private school. After all, someone has to tell your kids what to do. How can we depend on the likes of you, who won't even vote in sufficient numbers to tell me what to do?
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