May 5, 2009


We all got a letter today from the chancellor, and I'd be putting it here for a some comic relief except no one's laughing.

Not the teachers forced to use methodologies they know don't work.

Nor those who have to teach to the test.

Not the educators in closed or closing schools.

Not the educators who are threatened into doing all kinds of things by principals to push the promotion and graduation rates up.

Or the guidance counsellors and social workers whose caseloads are too huge to handle.

Not the ATRs.

Not the people in the rubber room who haven't done a thing to hurt children.

Certainly not the ones who got fined by arbitrators with questionable motives and directives.

And not any of the members in our union whose rights are being violated by administrators backed by and maybe even encouraged by Tweed.

Did I leave anyone out?

Dear Teachers,

Every day of the year, your talent, passion, and dedication open up new worlds of possibility for our children. I can’t thank you enough for what you do. Today, as we celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Day, I would like to recognize the difference you make in the lives of our City’s 1.1 million children.

Day after day, you push your students to gain the academic, social, and emotional skills they need to succeed. You develop innovative ways to help them understand important concepts. You tirelessly work to reach students who need extra support. You go above and beyond, enriching students’ lives by exposing them to the arts, sports, and other forms of culture.

And your work has paid off. More of your students are graduating from high school than ever before. Your efforts have helped more students to meet and exceed State standards in math and reading. Thanks to you, New York City’s children are making real progress.

Your efforts demonstrate the dramatic impact great teachers have on students; teachers have the power to help students overcome extraordinary odds, equipping them with the skills they need to become engaged, productive citizens.

It’s what you do everyday that helps New York City students succeed—but it’s also your creative ideas and innovation that make a difference. Here are just a few examples of special things that our teachers have accomplished this year:
A group of elementary school teachers from Brooklyn spent their mid-winter break in New Orleans building a home for those in need this year, later constructing lessons for their students around the importance of service and social action.

Teachers at a high school in Queens designed a physics lesson—based on Archimedes—incorporating a fun cardboard boat race for students.

Students at a Manhattan school learned the importance of taking action to protect the environment when their teachers helped them launch an advertising campaign encouraging people to use less paper.
I know that your work is not easy—but the results speak for themselves. Your commitment to our children is inspiring. On behalf of all New Yorkers, thank you for all that you do for our children.


Joel I. Klein

This thing is so transparent you can look right through it. Every last line.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if Joel Klein has ever even been in a school building. Great post.