Janus at Tweed: Sacrificing Children and Families for a National Career

Janus-faced marked by deliberate deceptiveness especially by pretending one set of feelings and acting under the influence of another; “she was a deceitful scheming little thing”- Israel Zangwill; “a double-dealing double agent”; “a double-faced infernal traitor and schemer”- W.M.Thackeray

dishonest, dishonorable – deceptive or fraudulent; disposed to cheat or defraud or deceive
 
The Stock Market “ping-pongs” up and down hundreds of points, world leaders huddle and create “fixes” involving trillions of dollars, yes, trillions, that’s twelve zeros! This “crisis” will not be over in days or weeks or months, it will takes years to recover, if we recover.
 
The fixes are so complex that they defy the understanding of ordinary mortals. Will they “work?” What does “work” mean? One sage warned of the laws of unintended consequences: “fixes” to one problem may create other problems. Does Chaos Theory apply to economics? We do know that cities and states will face staggering declines in revenue.
 
The Governor has called the legislature into session in mid November – to cut from one to two billion dollars from the budget, that means by March 31. The next session, beginning in January will be dominated by budget: cuts of at least 5% (in a $124 billion budget) for the next fiscal year beginning April 1. The State budget impacts directly on the City, whose revenues are heavily dependent on the stock market.
 
Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Quinn and some of the City Council members argue for a third term: after all, they aver, only their experience will allow the City to survive. Guess they’ve been keeping that boundless off-shore pool of oil a secret, or, maybe Mike will open his coffers to fill the city’s vault …
 
With the school system facing huge cuts what is the Chancellor doing? Nothing … business as usual.
 
What should he be doing? How about a press release:
 
Chancellor Klein: I am inviting leaders of the UFT, the CSA and DC 37, the three major unions, representatives of school and parent advocacy groups, to participate in a Task Force to explore strategies to react to the fiscal crisis confronting the city and the schools. We hope to collaboratively approach these issues in a manner to minimize the impact on schools, familes and children.
 
Eduwonkette reports that Tweed is continuing to post new six digit jobs, pushing ahead with the $85 million ARIS data warehouse disaster, discredited School Report Cards and the remainder of the Education Equality Project agenda.
 
Instead it is the teacher union that joins a safety net coalition.
 
Almost 75 groups – including the UFT – joined together as the “One New York: Fighting for Fairness” coalition and kicked off a campaign on Oct. 10 to urge Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council to protect poor and middle-class New Yorkers from budget cuts to vital services and to close the budget gap in part through raising revenue.
 
Today Comptroller William Thompson predicts a loss of 165,000 jobs.
 
In spite of the universally dire predictions Klein absolutely refuses to address the problem, his ideology comes first, instead of halting, even temporarily, expensive, unproven initiatives, he pushes ahead.
 
How many dollars are being wasted?
 
* the ATR hiring pool continues to grow as Klein creates a conflict ridden future contract negotiating issue
* “rubber rooms” are filled with teachers who will never be charged with anything
* the $85 million ARIS data warehouse continues to stumble
* do we really need another crop of small high schools next year?
* do schools with grades of “A” and “B” require assistance from Empowerment/School Support Organizations? Shouldn’t these decisions be made by the schools?
 
Who will be injured by this crisis? The answer is clear: the parents and caregivers of the children we teach, that’s who will lose jobs? Who will default on their mortgages? Who will be unable to pay their rent?
 
The poorest and the most vulnerable will suffer from unimagined hardships, and, it will be the students we teach who will be impacted by this economic catastrophe.
 
We should be supporting the community school concept, instead the Janis at Tweed ignores the pain in the faces of the weakest and plans his next career on the national scene.
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