Archive for August 1st, 2003

1st August

First Published in The New York Sun, August 1, 2003

By Andrew Wolf

This summer, with much fanfare, Schools Chancellor Klein has welcomed the first class into his new Leadership Academy, established to train principals to work in New York City public schools. The recognition of the need for innovative methods to train new principals is astute on the part of the Bloomberg administration. Given the demographics of the current staff, it seems reasonable to assume that, within five years, most of today’s principals will have left their posts. But one has to question the wisdom of the structure being established by Mr.Klein and Mayor Bloomberg.

This is, after all, a Leadership Academy for our public schools, despite the fact that Mr. Klein has cleverly arranged for it to be funded by private donations — most of which come from the Wallace Foundation, which is endowed by the family that made their fortune through their ownership of Reader’s Digest. This is not a private enterprise. As the press release announcing the launch of the project said, the “Leadership Academy is the centerpiece of the Department of Education’s systemwide effort to create more effective schools.” But just as Reader’s Digest offers condensed versions of articles and books, Mr. Klein’s offers a condensed version of public accountability. According to the Department of Education, “the Academy is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.” (more…)