Joel Klein: Mayor de Blasio Must Close Failing Schools or "Pay a Big Price"

The former schools chancellor on the wisdom of shutting down schools that are "perpetual failure factories."


"If [Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña] don't hold schools accountable for their performance, they're going to pay a big price," Joel Klein told Reason magazine Managing Editor Katherine Mangu-Ward during a recent interview at the National Summit on Education Reform in Washington, D.C.

The former schools chancellor, who has a new memoir out about his eight years in charge of "the most complex bureaucracy in America," issued his warning in response to a question about a new plan by de Blasio and Fariña to spend $150 million in an attempt to turn around 94 struggling schools.

Klein took a different approach during his tenure: He closed dozens of schools.

"We felt that sending kids to perpetual failure factories hoping and wishing for change is not a winning strategy," said Klein.