2002-08-24 / Editorial/Opinion

Klein Really Deserves A Honeymoon Period

Klein Really Deserves A Honeymoon Period

Joel Klein became the school chancellor on Monday. Although he says that he had a great first day visiting schools in District 13, his euphoria exists only because he doesn’t understand the depth of the burden that has fallen on his shoulders. On his first day, Klein was sued by one of the activist groups that helps insure that our system will never again rise above mediocrity. That group wants to insure that the bloated and discredited special education program does not change. Other groups will shortly do the same, urging special treatment for the racist and discredited bilingual program, for gay and lesbian students, for immigrants, for various racial groups, for various religious groups, for children who burn down schools, for students who assault other students. Everybody will want a piece of Klein’s action and that will severely limit his learning curve. Klein will not be able to answer the burning questions that make or break the system. As an outsider, it will take lots of time for Klein to even learn the questions, nevertheless to be able to answer those questions. What the system needs is somebody who knows where the bodies are buried, to come in for one year and clean house without regard to the pressure groups that are already hounding Klein. That will never happen, so what the system needs is a few months for Klein to learn the questions. Most new elected officials get a honeymoon period to get up to speed, a period where they are left alone to figure out what needs to be done. Klein deserves no less.

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