Monday, August 16, 2010
Getting To Know State Senator Jeff Klein
I met State Senator Jeff Klein at a local neighborhood event tonight. He was quite nice to me after I insisted on asking him some questions regarding his involvement in extending mayoral control of the schools.
I started off my claiming that he spearheaded the continued control. He corrected me, but now that I think of it, as deputy majority leader he had to have some type of lead role in the negotiations.
I asked him how if he regretted his vote of mayoral control now that the real test scores came out. He told me "no," that all his constituents he has spoken to, including teachers and principals are "happy" with how things are turning out. This reminded me immediately of Animal House when the town is rioting Chip Diller is saying "remain calm, all is well."
Senator Klein reminded me of how the old Board was vs the new and improved DOE. He told me how in the old system, "there was so much patronage in the districts," not failing to realize, which I had to point out to him, the gazillion lucky consultants at Tweed who make boffo bucks. Senator, all that was done was rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.
We made some small talk. He think the parent coordinators are great, even though they are under the auspices of the principals. That there is more parent involvement in the new mayoral control law. I asked him about how Chancellor Klein has again circumvented the law and he went on to say how there are checks and balances in the new law.
But back to the patronage. I brought up Chancellor Klein's connections to the hedgefunders, and Eva Moslowitzand her close ties along with her husband. Senator Klein really "did not know too much" about that, but brought up how Caroline Kennedy has done raised a lot of money for the schools? Really? The gig she had with Office of Strategic Partnerships ended in 2004. Though, now she his vice-chair of the Fund For Public Schools. Interestingly, Mort Zuckerman and Rupert Murdoch's wife Wendi are also on the board (Can someone say conflict of interest?). I truly do not know what Caroline Kennedy has brought to the table in either capacity. If anyone knows, please let me know.
We left amicably. Senator Klein still insisting there has been real improvement under mayoral control in spite of everything that has been said and the test scores that were released. I also asked him if he would be willing to do the radio show, he said he would have his people get back to mine.