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Joel Klein Compares Teachers to Murderers

The former schools chancellor heads across the pond and slams Gotham's teachers.


Who's easier to get rid of, a teacher or someone arrested for first degree murder? According to former New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein, "It's easier to prosecute a capital-punishment case in the U.S. than terminate an incompetent teacher."

Of New York City's teachers, Klein said, "Five to 10 percent are not remotely capable," and he reiterated his belief that unions are more interested in protecting "incompetent workers" than educating children.

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Year in Review 2010: Urban School District Leadership in Transition

Almost every major urban school districts saw leadership shakeups this year. Here are some of the biggest.

What do Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, D.C. all have in common? In 2010, the heads of these major urban school districts-superintendents, chancellors and CEOs-either resigned, were fired, or announced that they'd be out the door come 2011. If you're looking for a job in school district, these cities might just be hiring.

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Does New York City Give Preferential Treatment to White Schools Chancellor Candidates?

Since 2000, chancellors lacking the credentials to run New York City's schools have been granted waivers. Critics say that's because they're white.

Did former Hearst Magazines Chairman Cathie Black get a waiver to become chancellor of New York City’s public schools because she's white? According to Roger Wareham, a human rights attorney and member of the Brooklyn-based Freedom Party, the answer is, "Yes."

Wareham has filed a petition against a host of players-including Mayor Bloomberg and State Education Commissioner David Steiner, who was involved in both Black's appointment and the granting of the waiver. The waiver enables Black to become chancellor despite lacking a master's degree required by the state.

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Joel Klein: Adults To Blame for Children Being Left Behind

Klein's reflections upon his exit seem to reflect a new dogma shared by education reformers.

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Joel Klein appeared on CNN today to discuss his seemingly sudden resignation, as well as what he sees are the major issues with the public schools system and where education reform should be heading.

Interestingly, his synopsis of the education reform movement seems to dovetail with that offered by the controversial documentary Waiting for Superman. He talks about adults being to blame for the inequities in the system and promotes charter schools as one of the primary solutions for solving them:

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Are We Handing Education Over to Corporate America?

With Mayor Michael Bloomberg tapping magazine executive Cathie Black to run New York City's schools, is business encroaching too far into education?


The shocking resignation of New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and the subsequent announcement that Mayor Michael Bloomberg was bringing on former Hearst Magazine President Cathie Black as the new chancellor has put new focus on the relationship between business and education.

At the moment, it appears that the corporate world is fully encroaching on education: Klein was a publishing executive and Justice Department official with no public education experience—aside from being a product of Brooklyn public schools. Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates is pouring money into education reform through he and his wife's foundation. Accountability is being demanded at all levels, especially of teachers, with economic-type models (like value-added data) being used to assess their performance. Cities are introducing performance pay systems. And hedge fund executives have taken a shining to charter schools as benefactors of their extreme wealth.

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Tonight: Waiting for Superman Virtual Town Hall

Pose your questions to Arianna Huffington, Davis Guggenheim, and Joel Klein in tonight's virtual town hall discussion.


Tonight at 7 p.m. EST, you can participate in a virtual town hall, moderated by Arianna Huffington, which features Davis Guggenheim, director of Waiting for Superman, and Joel Klein, chancellor of NYC schools, among others, to talk about education reform in general and the film in particular.

The event, which is sponsored by EPIX and Paramount Pictures, will be streamed live here and is intended to evoke the atmosphere of a traditional town hall by encouraging discussion and debate around the making of the film and the issues that it raises. Viewers will be able to pose questions to the panelists in real time—as well as interact with each another.

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