Re: "Five Forgotten Schools"; Edison in NYC

By Jonathan Goodman

The Stanford Daily
Thursday, October 23, 2003
Letters to the Editor

Chubb Op-Ed was one-sided

Your op-ed piece by John Chubb ("Five Forgotten Schools," Oct. 21) presents one view of the New York City public schools. I am a long time New York City resident and consumer (through my kids) of the City's public school system with different views. Chief Education Officer for Edison Schools, Chubb recounts with regret the events that led to rejection of an Edison takeover of five New York City schools by votes of the parents of the schools' children. While it is true that the teachers' union campaigned against Edison, the parents were adequately (to put it mildly) exposed to Edison's point of view, both by Edison directly, and by school officials. It is not likely that the parents chose a worse school system for their children to benefit the teachers' union. Factors weighing against Edison included distrust of an outside for profit company with a history of financial irregularities.

Chubb also lauds the new chancellor of the New York City Public Schools, Joel Klein, and hopes that Klein will revisit the Edison decision. I agree with Chubb that Klein is even less influenced by parent opinion and advice from outside his small inner circle than his predecessors. However, Hoover Institution Fellow Chubb may have misjudged Klein. Other Hoover people have railed against whole language reading and fuzzy math programs, but Klein is busily forcing these radical discredited programs upon the New York Public School system. The only beneficiaries of the Bloomberg / Klein "reforms" seem to be the ed school buzzards who have flown in to over to oversee the process.

Jonathan Goodman (Ph.D `82)
Professor of Mathematics, Courant Institute, New York University

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