"Our Great Education Challenge" in 2010 was an exciting, entertaining, and controversial conversation (it even came with protesters!). Get caught up with one of today’s most pressing and contentious debates - that of our national education policy.
Featuring Davis Guggenheim, the director of the film “Waiting for Superman,” Deborah Gist, two-time teacher of the year and Rhode Island Commissioner of Education, Joel Klein, then Chancellor of New York City Schools, Jon Shnur, education reform pioneer and CEO of New Leaders for New Schools and Lily Eskelsen, Vice President of the NEA, the largest teachers’ union in the US. Norah O’Donnell was the moderator.
"The burden, it seems to me, is on the people…who want to defend the status quo. Because the status quo is simply not working. Let me give you one example: there is not a single person in this audience that would allow me to randomly assign their children to a Hartford public school. So the question I have for all of us, is, whose children should go to schools that we would not allow our children to go to? Shame on us, that we tolerate for others who are less fortunate, schools that we would not allow our children to go to."
Joel Klein was finishing up his term as the Chancellor of New York City Public Schools when he was a part of our Forum on Education in 2010. His candor and unabashed critiques of our nation’s education system made him an instant Forum favorite. Just watch this clip and you know what I mean.
The man says it like it is, and we love him for that. This quote is just one other example.
And now, he’s working for Rupert Murdoch. I’m not really sure what this does for his hero status… can I compartmentalize the two Kleins? Or are they just a part of one whole, complicated person? The New York Times article from a few days ago seems to suggest that he is struggling with his new role supporting the Murdochs, but it still seems like an flagrant contradiction of values to me. What do you think?
"Public education lacks … accountability. It is essentially a government-run monopoly. Whether a school does well or poorly, it will get the students it needs to stay in business, because most kids have no other choice. And that, in turn, creates no incentive for better performance, greater efficiency, or more innovation—all things as necessary in public education as they are in any other field."
- Joel Klein, in The Atlantic, reflects on his 8-year stint as Chancellor of New York City public schools and the ways in which our public schools fail kids. Klein, as always, is candid, painfully honest and the guy I’d want in my corner.
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