Quickly, someone get Joel the fainting couch! He is deeply offended that anyone would ever question his motives! Why, Joel Klein would never say such a thing about... oh, say, teachers unions. He would never, ever, question the unions' motives, like people are questioning his!
Would he? [all emphases mine]
Because of his commitment to ferreting out the facts through tough and thorough reporting, Brill’s a brilliant diagnostician. No one has previously brought the education debate to life the way he has. And not a moment too soon. This is the most important issue our nation faces and, unfortunately, most Americans either don’t know or don’t care much about it. But if they read Brill they will see that the depressing picture he paints of the current state of public education is (unfortunately) accurate and that, in no small measure, this is because the unions effectively promote their own and their members’ self-interests, even when doing so hurts kids.Well, that's just one quote; it's not like Klein has questioned unions' motivations other times...
And it reminds us all that our job is to give voice to the voiceless and the powerless kids that are currently being denied the education they need and deserve. Because, let's face it -- they can't afford union dues.OK, two quotes. That's it, right?
In the long run, much more important than the settlement's specifics will be the fact that the strike occurred, especially during a presidential campaign in a city governed by the president's former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. The Democrats and teachers unions traditionally have walked in lock step—so much so that, when I became schools chancellor in New York City shortly after serving in the Clinton administration, my former colleagues offered commiserations that went something like this: "Unfortunately our party is killing you, isn't it? We should be for the kids but, truth is, we're beholden to the unions."Oh, my...
Politicians—especially Democratic politicians—generally do what the unions want. The unions, in turn, are very clear about what that is: They want happy members, so that those who run the unions get re-elected, and they want more members, so their power, money and influence grow. The effect of all this? As Albert Shanker, the late, iconic head of the UFT, once pointedly said, "When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that's when I'll start representing the interests of schoolchildren."This last one tells us more about the character of Joel Klein than anything: there is no proof that Shanker ever said those words. Klein's weaselly non-apology after Leo Casey called him out is a real window into the man's soul.
The fact is that Klein and his many fellow travelers in the corporate reform world live to bash the motives of teachers unions and, by extension, teachers. His vitriol against the AFT and the NEA knows no bounds. For him to claim that calling into question his profit motive is "deeply offensive" is hypocrisy of the highest order.
Sorry, Joel: live by invective, die by invective.
Joel Klein in action.