September 28th, 2005

WATCH: Joel Klein And School Reform In New York City

New York City is the largest public school system in the U.S., by far. There are approximately 92,000 teachers, more than 1,300 schools and nearly 1.1 million students. To put it in perspective, only nine cities in the U.S. have that many people.

In 2002, MIchael Bloomberg was elected Mayor of New York and he appointed former assistant US attorney general and businessman Joel Klein as the schools chancellor.

How is Klein doing in what Former President Bush once called ‘the toughest job in America’? We take a look back and a look forward in this profile of Joel Klein.

Download transcript (PDF)


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Real education reform requires breaking down the current system and replacing it with things like computer-based-instruction, individual tutoring, micro-schools, school choice, and even more radical sorts of reforms. The great myth behind many of these reforms is the idea of the “great teacher” or the “great school”. The effect size of “great teachers” and “great schools” is nowhere near strong enough to bring up our abysmal nationwide proficiency rates. The problem is that one person teaching 30 students is simply a dismal way to educate people. Until we find a way to bring every child thousands of hours of 1 on 1 instruction, achievement will stay roughly where it is today (and has been for decades).

[...] of times, and I wasn’t even covering him (although we did produce two profiles of the Chancellor for the NewHour during his [...]

[...] You can watch this piece and check out its two companion podcasts right here. [...]

[...] that I neither praised nor condemned the former Chancellor’s policies. No one challenged that he changed New York City schools in dramatic ways — nor could they. Remember that before mayoral control, New York City had 32 separate [...]

[...] that I neither praised nor condemned the former Chancellor’s policies. No one challenged that he changed New York City schools in dramatic ways — nor could they. Remember that before mayoral control, New York City had 32 separate [...]

[...] that I neither praised nor condemned the former Chancellor’s policies. No one challenged that he changed New York City schools in dramatic ways — nor could they. Remember that before mayoral control, New York City had 32 separate [...]

[...] that I neither praised nor condemned the former Chancellor’s policies. No one challenged that he changed New York City schools in dramatic ways — nor could they. Remember that before mayoral control, New York City had 32 separate [...]

[...] that I neither praised nor condemned the former Chancellor’s policies. No one challenged that he changed New York City schools in dramatic ways — nor could they. Remember that before mayoral control, New York City had 32 separate [...]

I became a teacher in NYC as a member of the NYC Teaching Fellows program and was in the south Bronx for 7 years. During this time period all I ever saw of Klein’s influence was less funding, larger classes, and more testing. I guess he
viewed schools as distributed factories that could be made more efficient. Not a single teacher I ever met had any respect for the man. He made no attempt to connect with teachers and the contempt he felt for teachers was obvious.

[...] If you’d like to see some reporting that John did on Joel Klein back in 2005, click this link. [...]




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