A trial balloon has been advanced for Joe Klein, Chancellor of NYC schools to serve as U.S. Secretary of Education in an Obama Administration. ( It is quite possible that Klein himself promoted the trial balloon.)
Trial balloons are trials. They are floated to see how people will react.
Here is a reaction from some activists with Class Size Matters in New York City.
The Department of Education under Joel Klein has been run like a ruthless dictatorship – with no input from parents or educators, and no thought of how the policies he has imposed on our schools have been destructive to our children and their futures.
He has consistently ignored the crisis of overcrowding in our schools. Thousands of children are being given special services in hallways or in closets.
Joel Klein has refused to reduce class size, despite repeated audits and reports from the State Comptroller’s office and the State Education Department showing how under his administration, hundreds of millions of state dollars meant to provide smaller classes to NYC students have been misused.
He has spent literally hundreds of millions of dollars on no-bid contracts, and rather than decreasing the bureaucracy, the number of highly paid bureaucrats continues to grow --- most of whom have no background in education.
The only educational philosophy of those running the system is based on trying to improve standardized test results, no matter how much cheating and test prep that involves. Whatever the rise in state test scores that has resulted is not matched by improvements in the more reliable national assessments called the NAEPs. In fact, NYC was 11th out of 12 urban school districts in New York in terms of its gains in the NAEPs over the course of this administration, and there has been no closing of the achievement gap in any subject tested.
Class Size Matters
So, if you think Joe Klein is a bad idea, this is a good time to say so. Letters to the editor, to blogs, and other forms of sharing information are encouraged.