Saturday, August 22, 2020

NYC Educator: Important Update from the Chancellor

NYC Educator: Important Update from the Chancellor

Important Update from the Chancellor

Dear Colleagues,

For many of us, the five months since COVID-19 hit New York City in March 2020 have been the most painful, challenging, and heartbreaking of our lives. At DOE, it’s been meeting after meeting. They run into one another as we ignore our current problems and desperately pretend we dealt well with them back in March, when we sent people to their deaths. But hey, these things happen. 

Despite the evidence in front of you, we need you to believe that the 1.1 million students and their families who rely on New York City’s  public schools have the high-quality education they deserve. Of course, that's only as long as we don’t have to bother with providing sufficient PPE, reasonable COVID protocols, or perish forbid, actually doing testing and tracing to make sure no one gets sick. 

And we do it to keep trying to mask our hopeless ineptitude. Right now fewer than 1% of all COVID-19 tests are coming back positive. Of course who knows about all the people who aren’t being tested, who haven’t got medical insurance, or who are asymptomatic? Who cares if it didn't work in South Korea or Israel, and who cares about universities that open just to close within days? You are part of our great experiment, and once you start dropping dead, we'll be on to another. (Of course we will say extremely solemn words about you before doing that.)

And we won’t change our minds because we are pigheaded beyond belief.  We don't care if the Daily News editorial board, who usually hates teachers and everything they stand for, now supports the UFT. We don't care if the city council is against us. We don't care if Cuomo thinks it's too risky. And by we, I mean my boss, as I do have my career to think about. Look, if I stab him in the back, who’s gonna give me another sweet gig like this one? We have seen the worst—neighbors, colleagues, friends have been taken far too soon, including 79 DOE employees. So what’s the big deal if we have 79 more? Look, we’ll close the schools as soon as people start dropping dead so please don’t strike. Think of my reputation, please!

And I’ll remind all of you—who work in service to our students every day to keep building our school communities, give our students an excellent education, keep our students nourished and healthy, and our buildings safe—that while we’re wiling to risk your lives, those of your students, and all of your families, the fact is we in Tweed have private offices with multiple air conditioners and fabulous ventilation.  

That is going to look like classroom discussions from desks spaced six feet apart, even though everyone is faced in the same direction including the teacher, and no one can approach anyone else. We think that students being tied down to seats, wearing masks, and being unable to socialize will 
 NYC Educator: Important Update from the Chancellor