Greg Michie is a teacher in Chicago and a published author. Michie is fed up with the hypocritical incantations of “students first,” when the reality is that the “reformers” put students last.

In this post, he explains what is really happening.

“I see our school’s only computer lab — which should be a student resource — closed for weeks at a time (a total of nine this past year) so it can be used to administer board-mandated standardized tests.

I see revamped teacher, principal, and school evaluation policies that assign heavy weight to gains on standardized test scores. This will likely turn the screws of pressure further on school-based educators, and mean an even narrower curricular focus and a more intensified push for larger gains.

I see dozens of schools closing in low-income African American neighborhoods — despite the protests of parents and community members, despite warnings that children will have to cross potentially dangerous gang lines to get to their “receiving” schools. Can anybody imagine these closings being proposed — much less approved — if 90 percent of the children impacted were white?

I see the mayor’s pet reform initiative, the longer school day, turning out to be what many critics feared: simply a longer day. Not “better,” not “fuller,” and not supported with appropriate resources. The recent layoffs will only make this situation worse.

I see the board laying off nearly 2,000 experienced teachers (and over 1,000 other school-based staff), while at the same time hiring up to 325 recruits from Teach for America, an organization which provides its “corps members” with only five weeks of preparation for teaching in Chicago classrooms. To make matters worse, at a time when CPS claims to be cash-strapped, it will be paying TFA a mind-blowing $1.6 million in “finder’s fees” for its services.”

And more:

“I see principals across the city scrambling to make ends meet with dramatically reduced budgets while the mayor turns a deaf ear, blaming funding issues solely on Springfield’s pension reform impasse. Blaine Elementary principal Troy LaRaviere blasted the budget cuts at a protest at City Hall last week. “When people ask me, ‘How did you achieve the results that you did?’ I give them a list,” he said. “And almost everything on that list has been decimated by this budget… We’ve lost music, we’ve lost our reduced class sizes, we’ve lost our intervention specialists, I’ve lost my ability to recruit and retain and hire the most effective teacher.”

“I could go on, but it would be begging the same question: How does any of this put students first?”