Thursday, July 07, 2011

His Area of Expertise

Joel Klein, who blithely observed scandal upon scandal for Mayor Bloomberg, has been tapped by Rupert Murdoch to oversee his own scandal. It's about time we saw Klein utilized for something he actually knows about. Wasn't it Klein who oversaw his no-bid contracts result in children freezing on street corners, while waiting for buses that never came? And didn't Klein tirelessly plug the achievements on state tests that proved to be nothing whatsoever after revelations in 2010 that they'd been dumbed down?

Joel Klein brought accountability to students, making sure they could pass tests before graduation. Diana Senechal took one of these tests, marked A, B, C, D in a pattern without reading the questions, and passed.  Klein bravely fought to fire teachers, as nothing that occurred under his tenure was ever his fault. He presided over the closure of almost every high school in the Bronx, contending they were failures. None, of course, were failures on his part. That's what Klein called "accountability."

Klein spent years at the job, dispensing favored treatment to people like Eva Moskowitz, and setting up a two-tier system that ensured Eva's students were better treated than the overwhelming majority of kids attending city schools. He took almost a billion dollars to reduce class sizes, and through innovative management techniques, managed to make them go up just about everywhere.

So, if a scandal's brewing, Klein's your guy, Rupert. He's seen scandal from just about every angle there is. Only one thing, though--making things better for Rupert Murdoch is not necessarily the same as problem-solving. Klein's image was in the toilet when he resigned. I'm not remotely certain he's the guy to rehabilitate the image of a propaganda king.
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