Sunday, February 28, 2010

Note to Klein: Resign

It is time for Joel Klein to resign.

I could list the thousand things that have made him the worst chancellor in NYC history, from children left out in the middle of snowstorms to irresponsible school closings. I could point out the myriad ways he has harmed school children by applying the corporate model to school communities. But those things, as awful as they are, were for the most part poor policy decisions borne from his ignorance of education. His latest shenanigans call for no less than his resignation.

I'm talking, of course, about his dealings with Eva Moscowitz, the charter school maven who for some mysterious reason seems to have special access and influence with the chancellor. Here is what Eva said to Joel:

"We need to quickly and decisively distinguish the good guys from the bad. And yes take away resources from institutions that are harming children and give to those who are truly putting children first."

How did Klein respond to this bald-faced power/money grab? Did he defend the public school system over which he presides? Did he defend the teachers and parents and children who do their best day in and day out?

No. The evidence suggests that Klein sided with the person he perceived to be the good guy and threw the bad guys (teachers, parents, and children) under the bus.

How Klein can continue to "lead" a system he obviously loathes is beyond me.

Worse still, Eva asked Klein for more space for her charters in two specific schools: PS 241 and PS 194. Two months later, the DOE announced that those two schools would be phased out. While Klein has not admitted that he was directly influenced by Moskowitz, the timing is more than suspect. Furthermore, Klein's spokesman, David Cantor, confirmed that "The chancellor signs off on all closure decisions". In addition, Juan Gonzalez reported that "Klein had not submitted the closings to a vote of the community district education councils, as required by state law."

School closings affect hundreds, if not thousands, of students, teachers, and parents. They change the entire structure of a neighborhood. Klein did not reach out to those vital stakeholders. They, it seems, do not matter. Eva got what she wanted--that's what's important.

I agree with Eva Moscowitz on one thing: It's time to distinguish the good guys from the bad.

It's time Klein to go. The UFT should demand his immediate resignation for this latest fiasco and for everything he has done to undermine what was once the finest public school system in the country.

Note to Klein: Resign.


Anonymous said...

You got my support!

I am willing to stand outside Tweed with a large poster that says, "I, Joel Klein, will be resigning from the DoE because I have no intention of helping the children in the public school system. I am aware that the jig is up and I have been exposed. I am signing this because I cannot continue to defraud the public schools. Signature:____________"

After that, I'm going out for a good stiff drink!

Pete Zucker said...

One thing I notice from Klein and Bloomberg is a lack of shame. It's almost sociopathic.