Media: The Untold Lessons Of The Klein Era
We're still waiting for the definitive journalistic lookback at the Klein era in New York City -- maybe a forthcoming Steve Brill article in the NYT magazine? -- but in the meantime it's worth checking out GothamSchools's look back at the past eight years of reform (Joel Klein’s bumpy learning curve) even if you don't care a whit about the self-absorbed New York City reform scene. The post includes some useful reminders, including how Klein started out as a centralizer, attempting to impose a single curriculum, and only decentralized after that failed, and that NYC had old-school "bumping" until as recently as 2005. Don't forget that Klein was on the short list for Education Secretary (or so some say). And the arc of the story -- media hype inexorably replaced by skepticism -- tells a familiar story no matter where you are in the country. What Green and Cramer leave out includes the personal and professional relationships gone awry -- with Weingarten, Ravitch, and Moscowitz, and the close relationship between NYC and Duncan reform strategies. But still a good read and I hope a taste of more to come. Breaking news is great, and the new is always news, but there's lots to be learned from the Klein experience and it remains a story that, despite all the coverage, remains curiously under-told.