Klein has a standard speech, the “Education is the Civil Right of the 21st Century” theme, it’s pretty good. At the end he reaches into his wallet and reads a quote from Theodore Roosevelt, as an aside, reminding us that TR was a “trustbuster,” as he likes to think he was in his previous life.
He should really change his quotation: I suggest one from Lewis Carrol:
‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
It makes more sense than reorganization number three, or is it number four?
Bloomberg and Klein are really smart guys: what are they trying to do?
The Milton Friedman neocons want to create an endless number of charter schools, abolish public schools and allow the marketplace to determine “successful” and “unsuccessful” schools. I consider it blatant racism; however, I understand the concept.
The latest DOE reorganization plan eliminates six of the current ten regions and reconfigures the remaining four. Hundreds of regional office employees, from high paid local instructional superintendents to the lowest paid clerk have one concern: will I have a job?
Are they going to be “good soldiers” and do their job and hope for the best, or, spend all their energies looking for the next assignment?
The Empowerment School initiative is attractive, after all, decisions impacting kids should be made at the school site. Teams: principals, teachers, parents, community organizations, and, yes, kids are “empowered,” to analyze data, to drive their budget to create of climate of success. Do the support systems exist to create and sustain these “learning organizations”?
Empowerment school principals and teachers are happy that no one is looking over their shoulder micromanaging every element of their job, uncomfortable with the lack of support: no one is ever at the other end of the phone.
The DOE is “buying time” until they come up with a final solution, bad choice of words, until they are ready for the new paradigm.
The new huge data collection and analysis system will enable the DOE to track every single kid and compare pupil achievement to each and every teacher. Some say the eventual plan is to create a merit pay system whereby compensation will inexorably connect to pupil achievement.
Some claim that inside the “Thoughts of Theodore Roosevelt” book is actually a work by Mikhail Bakunin, and Joel is a secret nihilist who believes that we must create anarchy before we can create utopia. Other conspiracy theorists think that the DOE has been “skimming” funds from the consultant contracts and deep, deep in the bowels of Tweed have created a cloning laboratory. So, when that DOE bureaucrat asks you to “open wide” and is holding a cotton swab you’ll know you’re a really, really good principal or teacher.