Joel I. Klein became New York City schools chancellor in July 2002 after serving in the highest levels of government and business. As Chancellor, he oversees more than 1,500 schools with 1.1 million students, 136,000 employees, and a $21-billion operating budget.
Mr. Klein’s comprehensive education reform program, Children First, is transforming the nation's largest public school system into a system of great schools.
Before Mr. Klein became Chancellor, he was chairman and chief executive officer of Bertelsmann, Inc., and chief U.S. liaison officer to Bertelsmann AG from January 2001 to July 2002. Bertelsmann, one of the world’s largest media companies, has annual revenues exceeding $20 billion and employs more than 76,000 people in 54 countries.
From 1997 to 2001, Mr. Klein was assistant attorney general in charge of the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust division. Serving one of the longest tenures ever as head of the 700-lawyer division, Klein led landmark cases against Microsoft, WorldCom/Sprint, Visa/Mastercard, and General Electric, prevailing in a large majority of cases. Mr. Klein was widely credited with transforming the antitrust division into one of the Clinton Administration’s greatest successes. He also served as Acting Assistant Attorney General and as the antitrust division’s principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General. His appointment to the U.S. Justice Department came after Klein served two years (1993-95) as deputy counsel to President William J. Clinton.
Question: Is there a role for educators in running school systems?
Joel Klein: I think the answer is there is a need for educators at both levels.
At the highest level, you need somebody who understands academic standards, who makes sure that they’re rigorous, somebody who understands pedagogy, and how it’s done.
But you also need managers. And if you try to do this either/or, you’re gonna get it wrong.
And the problem with the educational establishment is they want all people who are reading from the same hymnal.
And my view is the way you create an environment for robust and dynamic change is, you bring together people who are reading from different tracks and you integrate those efforts to make sure that you’ve got educational pedagogical expertise, but that you also have managerial expertise, that you have leadership.
Michael Barber, who did a lot of this work for Tony Blair when Blair was Prime Minister in the UK, he’s written a book recently called “Instruction to Deliver,” and he lays this out in chapter and verse. And I haven’t read anything that better addresses the set of issues that you’re talking about which is fundamentally it’s not an either/or equation. And we’ve got to stop presenting it that way.
By the same token, there’s real resistance in the educational establishment to bringing in people who have the managerial and leadership and other qualities that are going to be necessary to do the transformative work.
If you thought the status quo was okay, you wouldn’t worry about it. But I submit to you, anybody who looks at the numbers, looks at our racial and ethnic achievement gap, looks at the growing achievement gap between America and our global competitors. If you look at all of those things, the recent tests that came out, America versus the OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] countries where we did not perform well. If you look at college graduates, if you look at engineers, if you look at mathematics, in India and China, if you look at all of those metrics, you cannot remotely think the status quo is where we need to be in K-12 education. And if you get purveyors or worshippers as the status quo, or small bore incremental change, you’ll get the status quo or small bore incremental change.
It takes a visionary like Michael Bloomberg who’s really willing to do transformative leadership with all the noise and all the heat that attends that, in order to really change a system that has fundamentally been stultified, non innovative, non aligned in terms of the traditional meritocracy and incentives that effective organizations always have.
Question: What role will the teachers' unions play in reform?
Joel Klein: I think the union has a somewhat different job, and you have to create an environment in which you can work productively. But the union's job is to protect its workers and the school system's job is to maximize the outcomes for our students; number of kids graduating, kids performing at grade, so on and so forth.
And what Al Shanker saw and wrote about, who was probably the most prominent teacher labor leader ever in America. He started the United Federation of Teachers, the American Federation of Teachers and he understood that you would have to move from a trade union model to a professional model. And that's happening here in New York, it's happening in other cities. Is it happening as fast as I'd like? No. But it's certainly happening.
And over time, what I think you need to do is to convince teachers of several things that they will find increasingly congenial. One being part of a successful enterprise. There's an enormous amount of reward too, that some of my schools today, particularly schools in high needs neighborhoods, that are doing some incredible work.
The teachers who are part of that feel the psychic benefits and rewards of succeeding with populations that a lot of people say you can't succeed with.
Second thing you need to do is create rational economic incentives. Those teachers take on the tougher jobs, they have to be rewarded. Those teachers who really have the expertise in science and math, which is so valuable to our country, in which there are always shortages in the school system, they have to be rewarded differently.
And I think over time we need to create an alternative pay structure in which we front load, so the young talented people who may not stay 25 years, but they may stay 5 or 10 or 15 years in the system, and they get rewarded in the earlier years.
So I think you need a whole series of rational human resource policies that will support people and over time they will move.
As I said, I would always like to see it happen more quickly, but you have an established work force, grown up under certain rules, and the union, its job is to protect that workforce.
My job is to create opportunities so that the union and its workforce sees that there could be a better, brighter, more exciting future. And that's a kind of almost Galion dialectic, right. I mean if you think about it, you got a thesis/antithesis and then you try to find a synthesis that moves you forward.
But what will it take? It will require bold thinking and strong union leadership. So recently we put together a school-based pay-for-performance program here in New York that we're now implementing in 200 of our highest need schools. When I started five and a half years ago, that would have been impossible. Now it's possible and I believe in five years from now, much bolder, much more innovative structures will come into play.
Just recently in "The New York Times," we're opening a charter in this city and the starting salary for teachers is gonna be $125,000. That's like radical, that's entirely different. Will it work? We don't know. Should it be tried? And maybe you attract a different breed of cat with different set of incentives who's willing to tackle this in a different way, and maybe the results that come out of that is that you have somewhat fewer teachers, but that you have teachers who view their job differently and whose commitment and whose talents are different. And that's the kind of thing you wouldn't have seen when I started this job six years ago. Just that kind of innovation wasn't part of the equation, now it's happening in a variety of ways throughout the nation.
Recorded on: March 30, 2008
There is a need for educators at all levels of the system.
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Whether or not women think beards are sexy has to do with "moral disgust"
- A new study found that women perceive men with facial hair to be more attractive as well as physically and socially dominant.
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Beards and perceptions of masculinity<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjU5OTg0MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NzkxMjM3N30.cH-GqNwP5GVqvstgJWAhBPn1B_lYpVEAI0I7iax7EQw/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C1900%2C0%2C849&height=700" id="caae6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="cb0a355a4e8e1899789bc45f3f7aef56" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Photo Credit: Wikimedia<p>The study used 919 American (mostly white) women ages 18-70 who rated 30 pictures of men they were shown with various stages of facial hair growth. The photographs depicted men with faces that had been digitally altered to look more feminine or more masculine, with a beard and without a beard. The women rated the men according to perceived attractiveness for long-term and short-term relationships. The study found that the more facial hair the men had, the higher the men were rated on their attractiveness, particularly for their suitability for a long-term relationship.</p><p>Part of this might be attributed to facial masculinity — i.e. protruding brow ridge, wide cheekbones, thick jawline, and deeply set narrow eyes — which conveys information to a woman about a man's underlying health and formidability. Women tend to associate more masculine faces with physical strength and social assertiveness. It can also indicate a man with a superior immune response. The researchers suggested that their findings favoring bearded men could be due to the fact that facial hair enhances the masculine facial features on a man's face, like creating the illusion of a thicker jaw line. This could communicate direct benefits to women like resources and protection that would enhance survival among mothers and their infants. In other words, while a beard doesn't mean superior genetics in and of itself, it might be a primitive, ornamental way of saying, "Hey girl, I'm a testosterone-fueled lean, mean, pathogen fighting machine." <br></p><p>It could also be that a beard becomes its own destiny. The researchers in this study cite prior research that found that by growing a beard, men felt more masculine and had higher levels of serum testosterone, which was linked to a higher level of social dominance. They also tended to subscribe to more old-school beliefs about gender roles in their relationships with women as compared to men with clean-shaven faces.<span></span><br></p>
What does disgust have to do with beard preference?<p>Obviously, not all women dig beards. The researchers were particularly interested in what traits make a women prefer bearded men over clean-shaven faces. They looked into several factors including a woman's disgust levels on various concepts, her desire to become pregnant, and her exposure to facial hair in her personal life. </p><p>According to the study, women who were not into facial hair were turned-off by potential parasites or other critters they imagined could be in the hair or skin. Women ranking high on this "ectoparasite disgust" scale might have viewed beards as a sign of poor grooming habits. However, women who ranked higher in levels of "pathogen" did find the bearded men to be desirable, possibly because they perceived beards as a signal of good health and immune function. An intriguing discovery in the study was links to morality. Women who displayed higher levels of "moral disgust," or feelings of repugnance toward taboo behaviors, were more likely to prefer hairy faces. The authors opined that this could reflect a link between beardedness, politically conservative outlooks, and traditional views regarding performances of masculinity in heterosexual relationships.</p>
Additional findings<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjU5OTg1My9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNDI1NjUyOX0.P9B8WbmJR0q4nfzYZKbuNSA-2SAigVWJgrQE-_Gxlds/img.gif?width=980" id="49143" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2ed3b1d6f20fc170bf2974646e565e8d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />Giphy<p>The correlations that existed between married and single women's rating on the attractiveness of beards were not particularly clear, although the researchers noted that single and married women who wanted children tended to find beards more attractive than the women who didn't want children. They also found that women with bearded husbands found beards to be more attractive, which might indicate that social exposure to beards influences how desirable they are perceived of as being. Or it could be that men with wives who like beards grow beards.</p><p>It's important to note that culture plays a huge role in how attractive women perceive certain male characteristics as being. This study looked at a small, culturally specific group of American women, so no big, universal claims should be made about masculinity, facial hair, and male desirability to women. However, research like this is important in highlighting how human grooming decisions are driven by much more than fashion trends. Sociobiological, economic, and ecological factors all play a part in the way we choose to present ourselves.</p>
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