Nice to see you were putting students foremost in your mind there, Joel.Rick Hess: Joel, what can you tell us about the new job?Joel Klein: I'll be the CEO of the Education Division at News Corp. It's a just-launched division in which we'll be looking at a variety of possible acquisitions and opportunities. I've only been in place about four weeks, so this is very much in the early stages. I stepped down as Chancellor on December 31 and started this position on January 3, so we're just getting started.RH: How did the job come about?JK: Well, I started having discussions with [Rupert] Murdoch when I was thinking about leaving [NYCDOE]. We talked about what Murdoch had in mind and he asked if I'd run the thing. I've known him a long time and, I don't want to be presumptuous, but I've considered him a friend for quite a few years...We had a lot of interaction during my tenure as Chancellor, as he gave us millions for our leadership academy and other initiatives.
Just what we need: more private capital in the schools. Halliburton High for everyone. Hey, what if we try giving stock options in place of merit pay?
RH: What will you be focusing on at News Corp.?JK: The education division's guiding is that we've got to change from a 20th century--or even late 19th century--model of classroom instruction to a more individualized, differentiated model. We've got immense new opportunities to do this now. Much, much more digitized content is available today than was ever the case before. Technology and digitization offer a very powerful way to supplement a teacher's delivery of instruction with multiple modalities.We're seeing this now at School of One, Rocketship Academies, Carpe Diem in Arizona...and global models that are moving in this direction. Jeb Bush just held a major conference on this. But really doing this right is going to take private capital, a shift away from a standard one-teacher-and-thirty-kids classroom to a much more customized, differentiated model.This is what we did [in NYC]. I was at the School of One recently and was talking to an eighth-grader who, mid-year, was doing ninth grade work. Traditionally, that kid would be stuck doing eighth-grade material and getting bored. There's a lot that can help this happen. The Common Core will facilitate it, budget cuts will facilitate it...but it will take private capital to make it work. And that's one of the things we'll be able to do. [emphasis mine]
Am I the only who is completely disgusted by this? Public education is the cornerstone of a functioning democracy, but these guys want to turn it into yet another adventure in phony capitalism. And shock doctrine budget busting is their preferred means of making it happen.