For the past eight and a half years Joel Klein served as chancellor of New York City schools, and in this time the New York City Board of Education was transformed, or better put, dismantled. It was re-branded The Department of Education, and reorganized four times. Each re-organization fueled a business-like metamorphosis, with a larger administrative staff complete with titles like “Executive Director,” and divisions like that of “Talent, Labor and Innovation” with a much diminished emphasis on actual pedagogy. As he proudly carried out Mayor Bloomberg’s twisted education reform agenda, the Department of Education’s support for community public schools faded as Mr. Klein championed charter schools and test scores as the hallmarks of his reign. Millions of dollars were spent on a computerized system called ARIS that allows teachers to view the test scores of their students in a myriad of ways. Another pet project Klein rolled out was the “School of One” which is described as “leveraging technology to play a more essential role in planning instruction” but more closely resembles a glorified video professor. As he begins his new job heading Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp to, as Mr. Klein stated in a recent press conference, "put them in the burgeoning and dynamic education marketplace," one must wonder if he was merely using his position as School Chancellor as market research for his new job, where he reportedly stands to make 4.5 million dollars this year. Especially since Mr. Murdoch (who considers education a "$500 billion dollar sector”) has since acquired the businesses that developed ARIS and the School of One. Halliburton anyone?
We are living in a plutocracy where the privileged few are making decisions for the rest of us. The business of education is currently a popular endeavor for hedge fund profiteers and other out of touch affluent members of corporate society. They want to profit off of our children and our schools under the guise of so-called school reform. We must stand up together and proclaim that our children and our schools are not for sale. We must call for an end to Mayoral Control, a governance concept that has clearly gone out of control, and we must fight for democracy, transparency, and social justice in our school system.
Join parents, students, teachers and
community members at a rally to stop school closings!
January 27 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
City Hall Plaza