Saturday, August 18, 2007

Joel Klein On His Anniversary as Chancellor

Next week Joel Klein will have been Chancellor for five years – one of the longest serving in NYC history. For the occasion, he sat down for an interview with Mike Meenan of NY1. Some excerpts:

Despite all the reorganizations, he admits that in some ways there has been little change: Klein: "Any fool can lower class size by the numbers. The question is can you lower class size at the same time you maintain and improve teacher quality?"

If any fool can do it, why can't he? Especially given the fact that there are now almost ten qualified applicants for every teaching opening.

Klein says he's all for class size reduction, but wants to take time finding the right teachers. It’s a go slow approach.

Slow indeed. At this rate our grandchildren will still be waiting.

"It’s a little bit like that song ‘The Glory of Love.’ You know, you gotta give a little, you gotta take a little and in the end you gotta let your poor heart break a little,” says Klein.

Some would say there's been a lot more taking than giving. Fewer classes provided in nearly every grade under this administration -- leading to no discernible progress in class size, despite falling enrollment.

He's often accused of running the system from the top down. Klein insists he does seek the input of parents. "Let me say to you, I consult broadly and extensively,” says Klein.

Hmm. Wonder which parents he consults – perhaps parents of private school students?

Asked what the proof of progress is:

Klein says the proof is coming, most visibly with every school now getting a report card. "You don't need any lingo, right? A, B, C, D, or F. People get it,” says Klein.

What mark would you give the Chancellor? NY 1 lets you grade Klein on his performance.
posting from
Leonie Haimson
Executive Director
Class Size Matters
124 Waverly Pl.
New York, NY 10011



jonathan said...

Klein has been trying to disorganize the system to make it easier to parcel it off, so they treat different areas very differently, and at the same time to weaken the union, chip away at the contract, turn teaching into a short-term job, and take away parent voice.

I think he has been quite effective.

Jose said...

I had only one thing running through my mind this entry:


as if ..."

good post.