Sunday, March 15, 2020

New Anti-teacher Look for Mariachi Chancellor

I have spent a few years defending Richard Carranza to friends and colleagues. I was willing to overlook it when he walked out of a meeting with parents, even though it seemed a very short-sighted thing to do. I do not remotely believe he's racist, and I was glad when he started firing people. I only wish he'd fired a whole lot more of them.

I've seen this chancellor speak on multiple occasions, at least three of them, probably more. I've met him face to face on multiple occasions, and I shook his hand a few times back when shaking hands was a thing. He speaks very well. He has a ready command of statistics and a great memory. He also plays guitar and violin (like me, in fact).

One of the most impressive things about this chancellor has been his outright support for teachers. He's walked right up to me and thanked me for what I do. He's given eloquent speeches on how teachers are important, and how he went into leadership to help enable us. He's said he wanted to end his career as a teacher. I really respected that, especially considering the administrators I've known who wouldn't lead a classroom of kids if their lives depended on it.

However, as far as I'm concerned, Chancellor Carranza has turned his back on us. I'm a few days late seeing this story, as I've barely had time to breathe this weekend. However, this speaks volumes to me:

A participant at the meeting of the Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Committee asked Carranza about a petition with about 108,000 signatures demanding a systemwide shutdown.
The schools chief said the DOE would maintain the status quo “until 108,000 epidemiologists” make the same demand.

This means, to me at least, that the Chancellor is fine with de Blasio's decision to close Broadway and leave the schools open. For me, the moment I decided the schools had to close was when I heard Broadway had gone dark. If it's not safe for well-heeled New Yorkers to attend theater performances together, it's certainly not safe for 1.1 million kids to attend public schools, 500,000 of whom learn under overcrowded conditions. (The mayor and chancellor, by the way, have done virtually nothing to address those conditions.)

I'm in the most overcrowded school in the city, and it's insane that they can rationalize this, especially when, despite the nonsense spilling from de Blasio's festering gob, there are plans to deal with it. And just in case no one has told you, cafeteria workers have been told they'd have to report in case of a school closing.

What disappoints me most, in Carranza's outlandish demand to hear from 108,000 epidemiologists is that simply that our petition is now up to 128,000. No, it's the fact that he has belittled the teachers he claims to support. Our opinions mean nothing to him. Our health means nothing to him.

Today, all Nassau schools were closed for two weeks. I'm sure that doesn't phase de Blasio or Carranza, who will spend tomorrow riding around in limos doing Whatever They Do. Here is what teachers will be doing. Those of us who don't have to stay home and take care of our children, those of us who don't have elderly relatives we're fearful for, those of us who haven't been quarantined, those of us who don't have conditions that make deadly diseases even more deadly will go in. But with so many absent teachers, we'll be herding children into auditoriums, the very worst thing for them and us.

Think again, Mr. Chancellor. Prove me wrong. Stand for our children, for our teachers, for our counselors, for our secretaries, and for all the people who work in our schools. It's not too late. If you wait until your hand is forced, which is inevitable, it will be.
blog comments powered by Disqus