Dear UFT members:
As you know, I appreciate teachers quite a bit. After all, I not only said so, but also made a video about it. How many of your students have bothered to do that? Nope, only I did it, because I am the cream of the crop, the top dog, the soaringest highestest when it comes to teacher appreciation. Consequently, because of my great respect for you, you should all do whatever I say without question.
As His Swaggerness Himself has declared, we need to get our schools together. We are in crisis! There was a pandemic, and while most tests were canceled, that still doesn’t mean our kids are passing them. As you know, before I became the great Soaring Highest Chancellor, I ran the Eagle Academies, and we opened on weekends and Saturdays. Now sure, you’ll say, our results were not that great, but that’s only if you read blogs like this one.
As far as the NY Times knows, as far as Chalkbeat NY knows, and as far as our Swaggerific mayor knows, we did a fantastic job. After all, there was an HBO documentary about me, and they didn’t bother to nitpick the small points, like a 32% passing rate on the Algebra Regents exam, only 7 students in the whole school passing the Geometry Regents exam, or our terrible AP results. After all, tests aren’t everything. Unless it’s you teaching for them, in which case you’re ineffective. You wouldn’t want that, would you? So just help me out here, and give me what I want.
And what I want, not to put too fine a point on it, is for you all to work summer and weekends. Now sure, you’ll say, it’s never been done that way. And sure, you’ll say, if students aren’t interested in school five days a week, ten months a year, they’re unlikely to be interested in 8 days a week, 16 months a year either. But the world is changing, and the old model of people having time to think or reflect, or spend time with their families is not what Americans want.
Otherwise, why would they vote for so many politicians who are anti-union, who preach about government handouts, who even oppose national health care? Unless you’re in a bracket like I am, making over 330K a year, this government is all about pulling yourself up by your frigging bootstraps. So wake up, New York! If you didn’t want this sort of thing, you’d have voted for something other than Swagger. But you didn’t.
However, there is a bright side. Your contract is coming up pretty soon, and our position is offering zero-percent increases unless we see gains in productivity. I see a whole lot of people complaining about near ten-percent inflation. Sure, companies are making record profits, and there are arguments that this is all just price-gouging. But that’s all academic. (You see what I did there? You’re teachers and I said “academic.” That’s a pun. My mother says I have a great sense of humor.)
And hey, if you don’t want to do it, we’ll just get community members to volunteer under our new and innovative “work for free” model. We don’t care if they have teaching licenses, or experience, or subject knowledge, or an actual heartbeat. None of those things matter under our new and revolutionary “no standards whatsoever” model. The important thing is we need to do something. This is something, and we therefore need to do it right away, without hesitation!
And hey, guys, don’t go giving me any guff about smaller class sizes. We’re not about to spend money hiring more teachers, or building facilities to accommodate students. We place children first, and we’re the first to place them in inadequate facilities under deplorable overcrowded conditions. Because priorities.
Anyhoo, you all need a ten-percent raise if you’re gonna keep up with inflation. The good news is Mayor McSwagger is willing to offer you a ten-percent raise, phased in over only nine years, if you’ll agree to work 40% more time. That’s what you call a WIN-WIN. You get your money, and we get you to work round the clock seven days a week. No more frittering away your time going to the beach in the summer, or visiting far-away places that aren’t even New York.
So what do you say, guys? Remember, we’re doing this for the children, so when they grow up, they can work 200 hours a week just like you do! Remember, you heard it here first!
Chancellor David C. Banks (And should we meet on the street or something, please address me as MISTER Chancellor David C. Banks. To me, you’re one of the family.)