For New Yorkers: Stopjoelklein.org
To the NYC Congressional Delegation and Advisors to President-Elect Obama–
We write regarding the consideration of NYC Chancellor Joel Klein for a position in the Obama Administration.
We are aware that Chancellor Klein has received national attention for his supposed achievements in improving public education in NYC. Sadly, the reputation of Chancellor Klein’s administration is based on myth, not reality.
The last seven years of the Klein administration has seen not a NYC “miracle” but rather:
- a public relations exercise camouflaging the systematic elimination of parental involvement;
- an obsessively test-driven culture;
- a growing atmosphere of fear, disillusionment, and intimidation experienced by professionals; and
- a flagrant manipulation of school data in contradiction to study after study and results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
New York City has one of the lowest rates of graduation of black and Latino students of any city in the country – with the most recent data showing a persistent drop in the number of children of color gaining admission to the city’s highest performing schools – and an appalling achievement gap that has been virtually untouched during Klein’s tenure. NYC’s teachers, those closest to the impact of the Klein years, give the chancellor a 20% approval rating, lower than even President Bush.
As parents and teachers, we urge you to eliminate Joel Klein from the list of those being considered for a position in the Obama Administration. His lack of transparency and failure to demonstrate responsiveness to grass roots communities is most assuredly not what we need to move our nation’s education agenda forward.