Guess We'll Never Know

A round table discussion with reporters planned by Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, scheduled for noon today at the Tweed Courthouse, was just cancelled. A spokeswoman for the DOE didn’t have an explanation.

I’m not sure if this has anything to do with it, but Betsy Gotbaum’s people were really looking forward to the event, and had even sent reporters a press release suggesting few questions.

Here they are:

1. “Isn’t it true that the majority of the gains in 4th grade reading
and math scores, so widely touted by this Administration, happened
between 2002 and 2003, before the DOE instituted its changes?

2. “Isn’t it true that the DOE awarded corporate restructuring firm
Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) a $15.8 million no-bid contract after A&M
“restructured” St. Louis’ schools and left the city struggling to pay
off $30 million A&M borrowed for operating costs?

3. “Isn’t it true that ten different deputy chancellors have come and
gone through the DOE over the past five years, including three deputy
chancellors for teaching and learning?

4. “Isn’t it true that DOE has hired the former head of Edison to
oversee the privatization of New York City schools, despite the fact
that two independent studies have shown that the privatization by Edison
and other companies in Philadelphia produced no significant gains in
student achievement to justify the additional $100 million cost?”

— Azi Paybarah

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