March 1, 2011 (GBN News): In a sudden and dramatic move, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced today that he is firing the entire NY City teaching staff and replacing them with the IBM Watson supercomputer. Watson, which last month handily beat two “Jeopardy” champions, will be leased from IBM for $50 million a year, which the Mayor says is “a bargain” compared to the cost of maintaining actual humans.
Mr. Bloomberg offered few details, but a senior DOE official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told GBN News that Watson will be housed at DOE headquarters in Tweed Courthouse, and be networked to terminals in every classroom in the city. Class sizes will increase to an average of 600, since the computer will be far more efficient than an actual teacher.
The DOE will, however, continue to employ Teach for America corps members to monitor children’s behavior in the classroom. They will be trained by former DC Chancellor Michelle Rhee, a TFA alum, in classroom management techniques such as applying duct tape to the mouths of disruptive students.
J. Fredrick Runson, professor of computer science at Manhattan University, expects test scores to soar under the new system. “Watson is programmed for ‘Jeopardy’, so it responds to answers with questions,” Dr. Runson told GBN News. “The students will hardly ever be wrong, because they will initiate the answers. Watson will insure that they are right by asking the appropriate questions. It’ll make those dumbed-down NY State exams look like admissions tests to Mensa.”
UFT President Michael Mulgrew denounced the firings as an “outrage”, but the Mayor scoffed at Mr. Mulgrew’s objection. “They wouldn’t let us change ‘Last in First Out’,” Mr. Bloomberg told reporters. “So now it’s ‘Everyone Out’. How much fairer can you get? It’s time for them to stop whining and find useful jobs.”
In a related story, Mayor Bloomberg announced that under a grant from the Walton Foundation, out of work teachers will be retrained as greeters and placed in local Wal-Marts.