Thursday, April 24, 2008

Joel; Whats Up?

I have never been a Joel Klein hater. I think that there was a lot wrong with the Board Of Education when he took it over and changed it to the DoE. HSST and ARIS are exactly the types of things that should have been done years earlier. They are not perfect. ARIS seems to be a semi-disaster. But it needed to be done.

I have recently been dealing with HR connect. And they are terrific. This is the type of thing that did not exist before Klein. The level of service was not even conceived of before him. Everyone always assumed that things did not work well, and that employees at 65 Court Street would be at best difficult to deal with. HR connect proves this does not have to be.

Last week Klein did something so awful that I have joined the ranks of those thinking it is time for him to go. One of the places I visited when I thought that my school was really going to break into houses, was Urban Academy. Urban Academy is a terrific school, that generally succeeds. The school is housed in the Julia Richmond complex. There are schools in this building that are very different from each other. The complex has figured out how to work. It is a model of how to do this. It is well known, and it should be celebrated for its success. Like all such combinations of competing visions it works based on a delicate compromise.

Hunter college decided it wanted the building and Klein decided to give it to them. He showed no concern for the schools, the students or the vision of this institution. He just saw real estate. It proves that he is a lawyer and not a visionary. It shows that he does not understand, in a fundamental way, what makes education work. For all of the positive managerial things that Klein has done, he is not capable of leading the DoE because he does not really understand education.

This is particularly sad, because we have a mayor who is a great businessman with a limited vision, a chancellor who is a lawyer and understands management, but has no vision and a head of the UFT who is also a lawyer and understands power, but also has no vision. We need at least one of these three key players to have a vision, maybe some day.


Anonymous said...

Well said.

EDin08 said...

Hi ED,

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ED In '08 Blogger Summit


Strong American Schools is excited to announce the ED in '08 Blogger Summit. Conference details are as follows:

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Chaz said...

Wonderful post. I couldn't have expressed it better. Especially about their limited vision

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