Friday, August 21, 2009

I Don't Make the Rules

Thus spake NYC Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, in response to a young Teaching Fellow facing a hiring freeze. That came as news to me. Wasn't mayoral control just passed again? Isn't the PEP still a toothless organization, with the majority of members rubber stamps for Mayor Mike? Can't he fire them for the offense of disagreeing with him? Hasn't he already done so?

Nonetheless, this is an odd statement coming from a man whose mantra is "accountability." I mean, there he is, with no checks or balances, saying, "Not my fault, pal." That's hardly what I want to hear from my kid's teacher, let alone principal or Supreme Ruler.

In fact, Joel Klein has a 50% share in negotiations with the United Federation of Teachers. Not only that, but it was he who unilaterally established the hiring freeze the young teacher was complaining about--making him 100% responsible for that (Math enthusiasts please note the inclusion of statistics I did not make up on the spot).

Chancellor Joel Klein, while he may be taking marching orders from Mayor Mike, is a far cry from Harry Truman, who declared, "The buck stops here." And Truman, unlike Chancellor Klein and Mayor Bloomberg, had the Congress and the Supreme Court always getting in his way with those troublesome checks and balances we all remember from civics class.
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