Before you drink the NYC/Bloomberg Kool-Aid, read this piece by Sol Stern which adds some new information to the increasingly-familiar refrain that chancellor Klein has sexed up recent test scores, churned out too many policy ideas, and become more abstract and technocratic. Stern adds that Klein’s popularity is now down to 37 percent, there are 29 people in the DOE communications office, a third of NYC schools may still not be making AYP, the decentralization program may be more sizzle than steak, and the weighted student funding initiative -- under policy darling Robert Gorden (now departed) -- collapsed under predictable opposition from the teachers union. Most of all, Stern captures the “never wrong” mentality that starts out projecting confidence but quickly alienates supporters and the public. Eventually, the press catches up.
UPDATE FROM NYC DOE: “Our communications office has a staff of 14 (soon to be 13), which includes two secretaries. Not 29...I gave Sol the correct number during his research for the piece, but he choose to use the larger and incorrect figure. I don’t believe our communications staff is disproportionately large for an organization with 140,000 employees. You may feel differently, but Sol’s count is wrong in any case.”
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