By Barry Moskowitz
Queens, NY (Nov.
30) – Private universities must help the city realize a
“no-excuses” vision of “revolutionary change” in public education
by strengthening teacher preparation and partnering with local
schools, said the New York City Schools Chancellor at an education
forum at St. John’s University.
Klein issued his challenge in an address entitled "Reforming Public
Education: A No-Excuses Approach to Success." Klein spoke on
Tuesday, November 30, as part of the Carol Gresser Forum at St.
"This is what we
need from local private universities like St. John's," said Klein.
"The demands of the 21st Century will be great. Schools of
Education must help us ensure that our system is prepared for those
three ways that universities must help: by strengthening teacher
preparation in math and technology; developing new approaches to
classroom management; and "helping to transform" local schools by
partnering with them.
Klein, university support is part of his broad, multi-year plan for
reforming New York's public schools. "This is our vision," he said.
"Our first lever for change is school leadership. Where does that
start? With the community, which is the first to tell us whether
our children our succeeding."
Klein said his
administration has promoted change by making schools more
accountable and increasing community input. He pointed, for
example, to his continuing efforts to end "social promotion" and
his success in assigning "one superintendent" to every ten schools
in the city.
This plan for
change, Klein added, will be completed if Mayor Bloomberg is
re-elected to another four years, which Klein said he is confident
Klein said, has long eluded New York City. "We have had a history
of reform efforts," he noted. "Yet there have been no new results."
He pointed to a legacy of social promotion as a big reason for the
"There have been
too many excuses," Klein said. Policy makers traditionally have
blamed the children, the parents, and school administration for
unprepared students. By embracing a "no-excuses approach to
success," he explained, the school system "will make bold steps on
behalf of the children."
In addition to
ending social promotion, Klein added, the city needs to decrease
class sizes, install a consistent curriculum based on testing and
assessment and "transform dysfunctional schools into fully
After his address,
Klein fielded a question-and-answer session with educators and
other members of the St. John's community. According to Jerrold
Ross, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Education, Klein's remarks were
part of a continuing discourse on educational issues that
stimulates "an opening of the mind, a conversion of heart and
The School of
Education established the Carol Gresser Forum in 1998. Held
twice a year, the forum is named for the former President of the
New York City Board of Education and Queens resident, who now
serves as a professor of education at St. John's.