Sunday, May 27, 2007


May 27, 2007 (Gadfly News): In a stealth announcement, the NY City Department of Education today released the news that it will be eliminating the position of principal in all of its schools by the start of the 2007-2008 school year. Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein, weekending in an undisclosed location in East Hampton, released the announcement in Dan's Papers, a Hamptons-based give-away publication. Reached on his beach cell phone by this reporter, Chancellor Klein elaborated on the decision. "In every single one of our schools, principals draw the highest salaries. Eliminating those salaries will allow us to get the funds directly back into the classroom where the money belongs. It's a clear, simple business strategy: cut out the middle man."

How exactly will this new plan work? As Chancellor Klein explained, teachers will be able to choose from a menu of Supervision Support Organizations. "Some," he said, "called Big Bucks Supervision Organizations (BBSOs), will be funded entirely by Bill Gates. We're in discussion with him about that right now. Another option, which we're calling Throw Them A Bone Supervision Organizations (TTABSOs), might be offered by former principals. Some of our exiting principals might want to take advantage of the Memorial Day holiday to throw together a plan and submit it to us first thing Tuesday morning. And the third choice on the menu will be our Up The Creek Without A Paddle option (UTCWAP). Those teachers who opt to go the UTCWAP route can choose their Supervision Supports a la carte."

Asked whether teachers would have the time or resources to to make sense of the acronyms, much less the options they represent, Chancellor Klein counseled the teachers, "Not to worry. The new options wil be explained on a DVD that we're making available tomorrow, Memorial Day. Teachers can come on down to Tweed on their day off, and the people we have covering for us are going to make it kind of fun for them. They're putting out platters of sugar wafers and there'll be free-flowing coffee and tea."

Chancellor Klein made clear that cookies and caffeine would not be the only pluses for teachers interested in picking up the DVD. "We snagged Spike Lee for the project," he confided. "He had a role in the DVD we did for our last reorganization. This time, we shot him courtside at a Knicks game, which adds to the fun. I don't want to reveal too much, but we know our teachers are really going to enjoy this."

As for the timeline for this latest reorganization, Chancellor Klein said that the DOE is urging teachers to pick up the DVD sooner rather than later. "Teachers will need to decide which Supervision Support Organization they're going to go with. And the deadline for that decision will be Wednesday morning."

Asked if there was any significance to the timing of the news release, on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, with schools not in session, staffs and families away, and education stringers unlikely to be alert to such an important press notice, Chancellor Klein demurred. "No significance, none at all. We made the decision, we want to get it out there. Oh! There's Spike now! Down at the Main Beach snack bar! All this talk about menus has made me hungry! Gotta run!"

Chancellor Klein did not specify what, if any, arrangement would be made with the departing principals. Because of the holiday, Ernest Logan, president of the principals' union, was not available for comment.


Gary Babad said...

Absolutely brilliant! I look forward to enjoying "platooning" the parody position with you.

Jan Carr said...

Thanks for the welcome. I've had a great time reading your postings. They've definitely served as inspiration, and I've been very grateful for the laughs.