SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Joel Klein Writes A Manifesto For Our Time

Friday, October 8, 2010

Joel Klein Writes A Manifesto For Our Time


So Joel Klein knows how to write. Or at the very least knows how to have someone ghost write for him. At least that what it appears in the article in the Washington Post which is due out this Sunday. In fact to help the readers read this mess we here at SBSB have supplied some background music to play whilst reading it. Click here.

Not to leave any credit behind, the article was "co-written" with Michelle Rhee, Ron Huberman, and a bunch of other hacks.

So, the crack team read and reread the Manifesto to come up with a response. The first problem the crack team has is using "manifesto" in the title. Though there is a chance that the Post was decided to give it the title it did. The crack team does have an issue with "manifesto." Conjures up crackpots who think 9/11 was an inside job, or Fasci di Combattimento. Something like that. So now down to the lowlights of the Manifesto.

Off to a brilliant, self centered, self absorbed, look at me start already.....

As educators, superintendents, chief executives and chancellors responsible for educating nearly 2 1/2 million students in America, we know that the task of reforming the country's public schools begins with us.

No, it does not begin with you. Sorry to say that. It begins with the families. The parents. The children. The community. The teachers. The people on the front lines. It is not all about you. Get over it.

But those reforms are still outpaced and outsized by the crisis in public education.

There is no crisis. You created the crisis (I urge all readers to read The Shock Doctrine). As with anything in life education is fluid. It ebbs and flows and changes naturally. What you are doing is unnatural and unethical.

The "Waiting for 'Superman' " documentary, the defeat of D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's $100 million gift to Newark's public schools, and a tidal wave of media attention have helped spark a national debate and presented us with an extraordinary opportunity.

Who except politicians, and the deformers, loves "Waiting for Superman?" The movie that is supposed to have been made for the people of the inner city, to show the plight of the people of the inner city, is not even playing in the inner city! It's not playing on 161st St in the Bronx. It is not playing at Baychester. It is not playing at Whitestone. Not playing in Harlem or Washington Heights. Why isn't it? Is this not the audience you want to reach?

Fenty was defeated because him and Rhee were seen as elitists. According to Michael Fauntroy, an associate professor of public policy at George Mason University in the New York Times Magazine on October 3 said, "the black, often struggling residents of Washington — the vast majority of parents in the public-school system — have a hair-trigger intolerance for anything that smacks of paternalism or disdain by policy makers, particularly when they appear to be telling people how to run their lives and, most potentially offensive of all, how to educate their children." What is it you are not getting?

As far as Zuckerberg. He is an opportunist. Why waste time with him?


21st-century global economy simply will not happen unless we first shed some of the entrenched practices that have held back our education system, practices that have long favored adults, not children.

You mean, "Children First?" Funny. Joel will you set the example by doing away with all the over paid consultants? What about all these network leaders, children first leaders, etc... that just take up space? Favored adults? Why then is the principal that is responsible for the death of Nicole Suriel still employed?

As President Obama has emphasized, the single most important factor determining whether students succeed in school is not the color of their skin or their ZIP code or even their parents' income -- it is the quality of their teacher.

Joel, boobala, just because Obama said it does not make it so. The single most important person in a child's education is the parent. In fact, superstar and world famous social worker Susanne Berman said so on my radio show. I posit it to think that Susanne knows more than you when it comes to the psychology of children.

Yet, for too long, we have let teacher hiring and retention be determined by archaic rules involving seniority and academic credentials. The widespread policy of "last in, first out" (the teacher with the least seniority is the first to go when cuts have to be made) makes it harder to hold on to new, enthusiastic educators and ignores the one thing that should matter most: performance.

So new, young teachers are enthusiastic? Performance? But it has shown that a teacher takes until about their fifth year to get their groove on. I would never, ever allow my child to have a new teacher. The rules are not archaic. They are there to protect indiscriminate retaliation which as you and your cronies have shown is quite prevalent in the NYC DOE. Does your pal Mike propose the same for cops, firefighters, sanitation workers, parks employees? What about corrections officers at Rikers? Your performance has been abhorrent yet you still have a job. Why is that? Want to do away with academic credentials for teachers? Sure, why not. Let's do the same for lawyers. How difficult can it be to bill $450/hr for a phone call?

There isn't a business in America that would survive if it couldn't make personnel decisions based on performance.


And there is not a business in America that would survive the way the NYC DOE treats its "customers." McDonald's treats its public better than the DOE treats its public.

The glacial process for removing an incompetent teacher....

This is due to due process. You are a lawyer, what is it you fail to comprehend about due process? Besides, define incompetence.

has left our school districts impotent.

Joel, and I might be wrong will will check with world famous social worker Susanne Berman on this, but you just might be projecting here. Yes, it happens. It is understandable. You are of course over 60 years of age. But you can do something. Perhaps join Bob Dole in a commercial?

District leaders also need the authority to use financial incentives to attract and retain the best teachers.

Financial incentives, merit pay has been shot down. Don't you read the papers? Or the internet?

Is it reasonable to expect a teacher to address all the needs of 25 or 30 students when some are reading on a fourth-grade level and others are ready for Tolstoy?

NO!!!! So why are you keeping class sizes so high? Why are you not using the funds given to reduce class size??

eliminate arcane rules such as "seat time," which requires a student to spend a specific amount of time in a classroom with a teacher rather than taking advantage of online lessons and other programs.

Yep. Another way to reduce the teachers. The unions. And the pay. Technology is great. I am all for it. But it is just another tool in the classroom. Akin to a book, or a piece of chalk.

That starts with having the courage to replace or substantially restructure persistently low-performing schools that continuously fail our students.

C'mon man. The grading system changes every single year. How can it have any credibility when it comes to closing schools?

Joel, you have done more to wreck education in NYC than anyone has in history. You are a rotten human being, and in a way I feel quite sorry for you. You have no shame, no compassion, and no remorse. Your policies are there to hurt people. I hope one day you can repent. Nixon did.


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent. And so very correct, everything you wrote.

Eva said...

Don't pick on my baby, you lowly Bronx Teacher.

Kilroy said...

Down here in Delaware we say, Joel Klein is useless as a woodpecker on an aluminum telephone pole. His understudy Lyles is useless as a porcupine in a balloon factory.

Great post! Thank you

dan dempsey said...

In Seattle we have Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson, who sits on the Board of the Broad Foundation along with Klein and Rhee.

Here is what we see in Seattle:

The reformers plan:

(1) Name a problem
(2) Suggest an ill advised change
(3) Pretend this is a solution

(4) Be sure and disregard all research that points out that your proposed change is harmful or ineffective.

(5) Be sure and say "Best Practice" a lot.

(6) If in Seattle be sure and disregard conflicts of interest and State Laws that require competitive bids on large contracts ... These are not Best Practices in Seattle.

(7) Be in a hurry these changes just cannot wait.... no time to think or analyze anything.

Dora Taylor said...

Great post.

You would probably appreciate our blog, http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/

Melissa Westbrook said...

As well from Seattle (and another education blog, Save Seattle Schools), kudos for a funny, brilliant piece. God these people are full of themselves. What is funny to me is that anyone could believe the only way to ed reform is through teachers. (Well, that and charters but we have no charters in Washington state, voted them down 3 times.)

The only thing we can do to reform education in this country is to beat down teachers? C'mon. Only have innovation thru charters? How come the high school teacher who just won a MacArthur Genius award teaches at a public high school (not a charter) and working with his union and his district, created a robotics academy at his school? It can be done.

Thank you. I'll have to look through your posts and see what you think about Teach for America.