CHICAGO – In a move wholly indicative of his disregard for the subjunctive mood in 10th grade Spanish and his recent consolidation of power in the Chicago Public School League, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has forsaken negotiations and injunctions, announcing in a press conference just moments ago his intentions to recall thousands of teachers from semi-professional “districts” in St. Louis as scabs for the remainder of the academic season.
Calls for justice from established teachers reverberated through the blogosphere until the wee hours that teachers remained awake, effectively ceasing at 7:30 CST. Unofficially marking the end of the social media charge was MericaRunsOnArneDuncan’s exasperated quip “If STL is so eager, maybe the Cubs should go on strike too #defendingWSchamps #ifeeldirty.”
The marginalized teachers of CTU continue to rally around firebrand Karen Lewis, citing inadequate compensation and striking by proxy for the kinds of improved conditions that would keep Chicago students in smaller classes, un-dripped upon by pernicious leaks, and likely maintain their mathematical dominance over perennial dark horse Thailand.
Seasoned instructors have bristled at the suggestion that objective means of analyzing performance be instituted to improve the quality of education, but public opinion has been swayed. In one particularly damning episode, fifth grader Eric Wilson staunchly maintained that he raised his hand before Rebecca Steinhorst on the final question of Westward Expansion Jeopardy.
He was promptly overruled by the colluding instructor, Dr. Hochuli, resulting in a dramatic, come-from-behind victory for Steinhorst’s tween history upstarts. Some tantrums later, Eric was finally vindicated by no fewer than 6 instant replay cellphone videos shot by classmates, yet the victory stands, an affront to justice and America itself. (Dr. Hochuli declined to comment for this article.)
Students at the Academy for Unsafe Youths and Occasional Math, a charter school located in the heart of Chicago’s bustling downtown, staged a counter-protest upon learning their peers would not be attending school in the immediate future. With city-wide demand for homework dropping off sharply, bargain homework printed from developing schools quickly flooded the academic wonderland, effectively devaluing the education by dint of a scandalous lack of foresight. “If only a semi-centralized, partially-independent body of technocrats existed to administer homework policy outside of the petty concerns of politics, this crisis may have been averted,” demurred Occasional Math teacher Julio Bernanke.
Reports from packed Megabuses on I-55 indicate great excitement among the replacement teachers, but many pundits are right to worry about a drop-off in quality. “I’ve heard rumors of them letting recess go for 2, sometimes even 3 days down there. Then they come back on Monday like nothing ever happened,” offered blogger/struggling comedian Jonathan Karp.
In their last broadcast before the cessation of classes, the student news team at Tom Berenger Academy of Instructor Impermanence decried the efficacy of the talks as mere “sound and fury, signifying nothing without addressing issues like entrenched poverty, childhood trauma, skyrocketing college tuition, and allegiance to the status quo.”
Unfortunately, the bell had already rung, no flags were thrown, and neither the school nor the world were listening.