Monday, May 09, 2011

Haimson on Joel Klein's Lies

Godawful piece by Joel Klein in the Atlantic, full of huge whoppers.

During my maiden testimony before the State Assembly, I said that we would end patronage hires, which were notorious under the old system of 32 school districts, run by 32 school boards and 32 superintendents (a 2002 state bill granting Bloomberg mayoral control of the city’s schools abolished the 32 boards). At my mention of patronage, the legislators, like Captain Renault in Casablanca, purported to be “shocked.” Nevertheless, after the hearing, when I went to thank committee members, one took me aside and said: “Listen, they’re trying to get rid of a principal in my district who runs a Democratic club for us. If you protect him, you’ll never have a problem with me.” This kind of encounter was not rare.

What a liar!  The CSB’s lost the power to hire and fire in 1996, years before Klein was appointed.

It’s possible for a teacher in New York City to retire at 55 and draw down an annual pension of more than $60,000, plus lifetime health benefits for herself and her family. 

Yes , this was what Klein and the mayor approved in return for teacher merit pay!

As a result of backloaded policies like this, after 10 years fewer than 1 percent of teachers leave the system, and after 15 years only about 0.1 percent leave.

What?  About 45%  of NYC teachers leave after four years!

In my experience, many of the best public-school teachers apply to high-functioning charter schools, even though they usually give up job security, and lifetime health care and pensions, while generally getting a similar or slightly higher salary (although often augmented by modest merit pay). They go because they want to be part of a successful school, where teachers are treated like professionals and not subjected to endless administrative and union micromanagement.

Not true at all!  To the extent that some teachers apply to charters it’s for the smaller classes; which he refused to implement despite the law in NYC public schools.  To this day, charter schools have trouble recruiting experienced teachers to their schools – and keeping them.

There is so much else that is tripe in this article, it’s unbelievable what a reputable magazine will publish w/out any attempt at fact checking.

Leonie Haimson
Parents Across America/Class Size Matters


Anonymous said...

LOL!!!! I love this factual rebuttal!

Anonymous said...

Your "rebuttals" indicate that you didn't understand the article. Klein's narcissism and ineffectiveness can be seen in a 100 ways - but not in the 4 quotes you use here.

In the first quote he doesn't say that the CSBs still had firing power. In the second quote, of course he would play to get back the concessions the DOE offered but try to keep the concessions the DOE gained. In the third quote he's using statistics based on how many teachers leave the system "AFTER 10 years" - not counting the ones who leave before then. You can't rebut the fourth quote with statistics since he only says, "many". He's using a "man who" argument, which is weak, but doesn't claim statistical back up.

In other words your rebuttal reads as reactive, not thoughtful, and not particularly acute. If you're making Joel Klein look relatively reasoned, there's a problem!