Small gains add up
Jay Greene with a good summary of the enormous progress NYC schools and students have made under Klein:
Never has so much venom been spilled over so little. Joel Klein's departure as chancellor of New York City's schools is sure to produce another round of exaggerated denunciations, just as his tenure over the last eight years has.
No, Klein didn't transform New York City's schools into paragons of excellence overnight -- but neither is he a villain, undermining the foundations of public education. Indeed, his willingness to break with the status quo -- closing failed schools, supporting the expansion of charter schools -- and his emphasis on educational results were vital to bringing a marked change to a long-stagnant system.
In context, his achievement was impressive: In a nation where academic achievement has been stagnant for four decades despite a tripling in per-pupil spending (adjusted for inflation), and where the urban picture has typically been even more gloomy, he delivered steady progress.
According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the US Department of Education's national measure of student achievement, New York City students have been making solid gains in math and reading.
Last Updated: 12:44 AM, November 10, 2010