Saturday, January 08, 2022

A Snow Day Letter from the Chancellor

Dear Colleagues,

I can’t tell you how proud and grateful I am for your extraordinary efforts to successfully reopen our schools after winter break! The primary reason I can’t tell you is that I'm neither proud nor grateful. In fact, I frankly could not care less about any of you! Otherwise, why would I have made you commute to work over streets overridden with black ice?

Your dedication helping Mayor Adams and I pretend our schools were not riddled with COVID was evident to me as I visited schools across all five boroughs and saw our incredible educators, school leaders, staff, sitting around monitoring children in the “safe” learning environments where they all belong. I’m happy to say that I was physically assaulted by only a very small number of teachers.

Let’s face it, even though you are low skill workers who aren’t academically qualified to sit in a corner office, you managed to corral 60 or 70% of kids daily, except on Friday, when you only managed to attract 44.5%. This is sorely disappointing, and the mayor attributes it to your lack of swagger.

Accordingly, we will be creating a four hour webinar on swagger which you all must attend. It will be strictly voluntary, but also mandatory. We shall be introducing several voluntary mandatory programs in the coming school year. I shall shepherd you through exciting new programs until you are all sore, high, or perhaps both.

Our preparations during the break to develop Stay Safe and Stay Open safety measures in the face of the latest surge in COVID-19 cases clearly paid off. Almost no one in the press has pointed out that we test far fewer than 20% of our students. In many cases we test only a small fraction of students. This is a good thing because it makes our schools appear safer, and I thank you from my heartmost felt bottom for participating in our great charade. You are all heroes!

We also successfully launched the COVID Command Center to, you know, take care of COVID-related stuff. We are aware that our Situation Room was unable to respond to anyone or anything in a timely fashion. However, we’ve now changed the name and added more cronies, (like my brother, who's had an issue or two) and other relatives to sit in that room and elsewhere. It will be just like Common Core! We get rid of the name, and even though everything is exactly the same, it's still different!  Our District and Borough colleagues working in the Command Center are gathering information, drinking soy latte, and ordering lunches from a wide variety of multi-ethnic vendors, thus supporting our diverse community.

We are also grateful to our thousands of qualified substitute teachers and paraprofessionals who have stepped up to assist with staffing gaps that arise. We’re perfectly content to run a school system where students are regularly taught, if taught at all, by people who met them only moments earlier. That’s what I mean by being nimble. Of course there are not nearly enough of them, and kids are thus warehoused in large spaces, but hey, we appreciate them nonetheless, even though they're low skill.

Despite an overnight snowstorm to finish the week, our doors remained open and students sat in auditoriums, gymnasiums, and whatever other spaces we could dump them. We could have delayed the opening so you didn’t crash your cars going to work, and so that students wouldn’t have to risk their lives navigating slippery streets. We could have gone remote, since we set that up with every teacher in the city.

In the end, we determined to have in person learning and endanger everyone traveling to and from our schools. After all, plenty of students work in Dunkin Donuts, so they’re just low-skill anyway, and therefore just as expendable as you.

Sure, the neighboring districts all closed, but they don’t have our swagger, and they aren’t soaring high. You wish you had whatever it is I take to soar as high as me all the time, don’t you? Well forget it, not on your salaries. I'm the one with the corner office, loser. And you’d better learn to love those salaries, because if you think Eric Adams is going to negotiate a fair contract any time soon,  I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

The pandemic isn’t going away any time soon, winter is only beginning, and you ain’t seen nothing yet. We will keep the schools open no matter what, and if anyone is hurt, or maimed, or killed, it’s no skin off my Big Apple. (Actually it’s the mayor’s Big Apple, but he promised to let me grab a bite every now and again.)

Congratulations and thank you!

Soaring high,


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