School Choice Joel Klein on School Choice


As chancellor of New York City's Department of Education from 2002-2010, Joel Klein oversaw dramatic changes to the largest school system in the country. He worked hard to increase choice and accountability by increasing the autonomy and accountability of principals and championing charter schools. He also fought (with mixed success) to make it easier to hire and fire teachers and to eliminate onerous work rules.'s Nick Gillespie sat down with Klein at the National Summit on Education Reform in Washington, D.C., to talk about school choice and the obstacles to reform.

This interview is part of National School Choice Week, an initiative to raise awareness of how competition and choice can transform public education.

Approximately 3.35 minutes. Filmed by Jim Epstein and Meredith Bragg, and edited by Joshua Swain.

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  1. I think libertarians might actually win the day with education. Why? becuase it’s the one time we get to say !For The Children! and !For The Poor!

    1. But we hate the poor. Therefore our advocacy of school choice must have a hidden fuck-over-the-poor agenda.

      1. no, the hidden agenda is eff-the-local-taxpayers. unless the local voters approve xferring local taxes outta district (vouchers), then school choice is another govt abuse.

        1. How local is local? Do you think these parents are shipping their kids off to a neighboring city everyday?

          1. And if the local voters do send their money out of district by choosing to send their kids to a different school then by definition they approve of this money going out of the local area.

        2. Let me respond in a way that you would understand…

          R-U-4 reals dude?

          U R srsly 2 dumb 2 even bother W/.

          You want the rich people in Beverly Hills to pay for the education of all those poor kids in Beverly Hills and you want all those super rich people in Watts to pay for the education of the poor of Watts. You want redistribution of wealth, you just want it to remain between people who make roughly the same amount of money as eachother. Wouldn’t it be better to just not collect taxes at all and let people pay for their own kids education? I think so but do you realize that this is what you are arguing for? This is the first time I’ve heard a progressive argue that the huge divide between the quality of schools in a rich neighborhood VS. a poor one are actually proper and are the results of the system woking correctly.

      2. You bet it does. It’s a secret plot by the super-rich corporations to lure the poor into getting a good education so they can dress them up in fancy suits and make them do their bidding by bribing them with big “paychecks”, and then the next thing you know the worst fate of all has befallen the poor…they have become…THE SUPER-RICH!! And all their children will be doomed to the same existence as evil fat-cats until all the poor have been eliminated by this process. What could more hateful that the systematic elimination of the poor muahhahaha!!!

  2. Mr. Klein make many good points. He seems to care about our educational system and therefore our future.

  3. Mr Klein,

    I only wish we had a nineteenth century classroom model

    1. ^This
      The beauty of the Victorian pedagogy should not be discounted: literature, elocution, mathematics, chemistry, & cautionary tales of the heathen denizens of foreign lands.

    2. I only wish we had taught kids that blogwhoring doesn’t make you cool.

  4. vouchersvouchersvouchersvouchersvouchersvouchersvoucchersvouchersvouchersvouchersvouchersvouchersvouchersvouchers

  5. It is imperative that we abolish the fed. dept. of education. State sponsored education is worse or as bad as state sponsored religion.

  6. Go ahead, make school choice legal. Rearrange the deck chairs.

    I mean, it doesn’t really improve results, or have any other tangible effect besides draining money from some of the most poverty stricken schools…causing you to have to pay for more police/jails/welfare in the long run…but if you’re into more of your tax money being wasted…just so some kid you don’t know has a “choice” on where to get a poor education…by all means.

    I find the title of this site ironic. Could it instead be changed to “reaction” – as in “reactionary”? Because i’m not seeing much “reasoning” going on here…

    1. Drink!

  7. For what it’s worth, Klein was a poor chancellor. The schools didn’t get better. They just added bureaucracy.

  8. Joel Klein was the second worst thing to happen to NYC schools. Bloomberg is the worst. This unqualified lackey of Big Business and Big Money interests was hired for the sole purpose of union busting. His ideas are worthless and he is proving himself now by showing his true greed. Americans must wake up and rebel against the manipulators being backed by greedy investors looking for the next bubble. His policies did nothing to help students or schools. They caused major harm.

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  10. The choice of schools must consider to clear. Not only should consider the school teachers, consider the circumstances of the school. See oneself can adapt to the environment over there.

  11. This plan has no merit

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