THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Fire the Teacher!

Headline, the New York Times, November 26, 2009, page 1. "Mayor to Link Teacher Tenure To Test Scores."

Brian (or Amir, or Jose, his name does not really make a difference) failed the 9th grade math level one Regents. The mayor says, "Fire the teacher!"

Brian had seven other teachers as well. Why didn't they do their jobs? Fire them all!

Brian didn't do so well in math in 7th and 8th grade. Fire all those teachers too!

Brian did okay in math in elementary school according to scores on the standardized tests. But maybe those scores were inflated or even falsified. Fire the teachers, the administrators, the test makers, and the company that designed the math curriculum package!

Brian didn't study. He didn't go to extra help after school. He was often dozing in class. Fire his parents!

Brian was working, just not at school. He has a part-time job as a delivery boy at the local pizzeria (bodega, dry cleaner). Fire his boss!

Brian has to work because his dad was laid-off from his construction job and his mother's low paying job and his father's unemployment check don't cover the mortgage and the family's monthly expenses. Fire their bosses!

Brian's dad and mom are in trouble because the mayor put a freeze on all city projects and hiring because of the budget crisis. Fire the mayor!

But the mayor had no choice because the governor cut state aid to municipalities. Fire the governor!

The entire economy is in crisis. The federal government bailed out the banks and major corporations but left 10% of the workforce on the unemployment lines. Fire the president!

The economy is in crisis because Wall Street gambled with everybody else's money, because nothing is made in the U.S. any more, and because big box stores drove local merchants out of business. Fire the bankers and capitalists!

But of course, Mayor Bloomberg only wants to fire Brian's 9th grade math teacher.