Joel Klein

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Joel Klein
Joel Klein.JPG
New York City School Chancellor
In office
August 19, 2002 – January 1, 2011
Appointed by Michael Bloomberg
Preceded by Harold O. Levy
Succeeded by Cathie Black
United States Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division
In office
1996–2000
Appointed by Bill Clinton
Preceded by Anne Bingaman
Succeeded by Douglas Melamed
Personal details
Born (1946-10-25) October 25, 1946 (age 67)
Brooklyn, New York
Nationality United States
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Nicole Seligman
Alma mater Harvard Law School (J.D.)
Columbia University (B.A.)
Occupation School superintendent
Lawyer
Religion Judaism

Joel Irwin Klein (born October 25, 1946) is an American lawyer and school superintendent. He was the Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, the largest public school system in the United States, serving more than 1.1 million students in more than 1,600 schools. He was succeeded by Cathie Black in January 2011.

New York magazine ranked Klein as one of the most influential people in public education.[1] Klein had never obtained the common formal credentials that one would have to take a leadership role in a public school system, and Klein had a short duration of teaching experience.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Klein grew up in New York City and attended public schools, graduating from William Cullen Bryant High School in Queens in 1963. He attended Columbia University, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He received his law degree from Harvard Law School, again graduating magna cum laude, in 1971. He then clerked for Chief Judge David Bazelon on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit from 1973 until 1974, before then clerking for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell.[citation needed]

Career[edit]

In 1975, Klein joined the legal team of the Washington, D.C. non-profit Mental Health Law Project. The MHLP was an independent non-profit organization that brought class-action suits to establish rights for mentally and developmentally disabled clients. In that capacity, Klein developed a specialty in health care and constitutional matters.[3] After working there for a year, he went into private practice, working for five years before founding his own law firm with several partners. In the 1990s Klein served in the White House Counsel's office under President Bill Clinton before being appointed to the United States Department of Justice. There he served as United States Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division. In this capacity, he was the lead prosecutor in the antitrust case United States v. Microsoft. Prior to his appointment to Chancellor in 2002[4] by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Klein was Counsel to Bertelsmann, an international media group.

Klein was rumored to be one of Barack Obama's candidates for Secretary of Education.[5] Ultimately, the position went to the Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Public Schools, Arne Duncan.

New York City School Chancellor[edit]

In 1998, before Klein became Chancellor, the New York City Board of Education transferred responsibility for school safety to the New York City Police Department.[6] Klein has been criticized for not seeking to alter this arrangement or to curb the conduct of the Police Department's school safety agents in the face of allegations of abuse.[6][7] Klein has praised the work of the school safety agents in contributing to a decrease in crime in the public schools.[8]

On June 30, 2009, the New York State Senate declined to renew mayoral control. Mayoral control had allowed Mayor Bloomberg to have complete control of the school system.[9] Mayoral control was restored that August with some revisions.[10]

Despite their opposing positions in the Justice Department antitrust case against Microsoft, Klein was able to work with the Gates Foundation to fund the creation of smaller schools in New York City. At the 43 small high schools funded by the Gates Foundation graduation rates are 73% compared to 53% at the schools they replaced.[11]

In 2005, Klein fired Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi from the teacher training program, reportedly because of Khalidi's political views. After the controversial decision, Columbia University president Lee Bollinger spoke out on Khalidi's behalf, writing: "The department's decision to dismiss Professor Khalidi from the program was wrong and violates First Amendment principles.... The decision was based solely on his purported political views and was made without any consultation and apparently without any review of the facts."[12] The program's creator Mark Willner stated that (Khalidi) "spoke on geography and demography," and that "There was nothing controversial, nothing political."[12]

News Corporation[edit]

On November 9, 2010, Bloomberg announced that Klein would resign as chancellor and would take a position as an executive vice president for News Corporation. Klein's date of departure was not immediately clear but it was later announced that he would be gone at the end of the year.[13] He was replaced by Cathie Black, chairman of Hearst Magazines and former president of USA Today, on January 1, 2011.[citation needed]

On July 6, 2011, Rupert Murdoch, chairman of the News Corporation[14] and the company's CEO, announced that Joel Klein would "provide important oversight and guidance" in the internal investigation of phone hacking at News of the World.[15] Klein took over the investigation, with fellow director Viet D. Dinh, from News International UK Chief Executive, Rebekah Brooks, whose own involvement in the phone hacking scandal made her unable to continue as an impartial investigator.[16]

Since joining News Corp, Klein has recruited at least two other executives from the New York City Department of Education. In February 2011 New York City Department of Education's Communications Director, Natalie Ravitz, announced that she would be joining News Corp as Klein's chief of staff. According to GothamSchools.org, a nonprofit non partisan news website that reports on the New York City Schools, "Ravitz is following a well-worn path from the department to NewsCorp: Ex-schools chief Joel Klein, who was chancellor when Ravitz was hired, now heads the company’s growing education division. Last summer, Klein picked Kristen Kane, the department’s former chief operating officer, to become the division’s COO. He also acquired Wireless Generation, the technology company that developed and managed ARIS, the city’s school data warehouse."[17]

Personal life[edit]

Klein is married to Nicole Seligman, General Counsel to Howard Stringer of Sony Corp. Seligman represented former President Bill Clinton during impeachment proceedings in the United States Senate.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Influentials: Education." New York magazine. Retrieved on July 10, 2013.
  2. ^ Merrow, John. "Love or loathe him, Joel Klein is the person most responsible for shaping U.S. schools today." New York Daily News. Sunday June 5, 2011. Retrieved on July 10, 2013. "But the evidence suggests that our most influential educator is a lawyer who only very briefly taught in public school and never had the formal credentials to lead a public school system."
  3. ^ Joel I. Klein Biography
  4. ^ Chancellor Joel I. Klein, New York City Department of Education,[dead link]
  5. ^ Murray, Shailagh (2008-11-05). "Early Transition Decisions to Shape Obama Presidency". Washington Post. 
  6. ^ a b Lieberman, Donna (September 10, 2008). "Column: Unchecked Policing at Our Schools (New York Metro)". New York Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  7. ^ Hentoff, Nat (October 28, 2008). "Bloomberg's Cops Illegally Cuffing Kids Under 16?". The Village Voice. 
  8. ^ "Mayor Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Kelly, and Schools Chancellor Klein Announce an 11 Percent Drop in Major Felony Crime in City Schools During the 2007-08 School Year" (Press release). NYC.gov. August 5, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  9. ^ Kenneth Lovett and Glenn Blain, "Senate Democrats shoot down mayoral control of schools, city income tax hike", New York Daily News, June 30, 2009
  10. ^ "More than a month after its expiration, mayoral control is back", "GothamSchools", August 6, 2009
  11. ^ Melinda Gates goes public
  12. ^ a b Purnick, Joyse (February 28, 2005). "Some Limits on Speech in Classrooms". Metro Matters. The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-12. 
  13. ^ Newman, Andy. "Hearst Official to Replace Klein at Helm of City Schools", The New York Times, November 9, 2010
  14. ^ Graham Bowley (2011-07-08). "A Murdoch Loyalist Hangs On, Raising Questions About a Corporate Strategy". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-07-09. 
  15. ^ Rupert Murdoch (2011-07-06). "Statement from News Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch". News of the World (© 2011 News Group Newspapers Ltd). Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  16. ^ Doward, Jamie, Toby Helm, et al., "Phone-hacking scandal: is this the tipping point for Murdoch's empire?", The Guardian, 9 July 2011 23.11 BST. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
  17. ^ Philissa Cramer (2012-01-31). "DOE’s press chief leaving to become Rupert Murdoch’s top aide". GothamSchools. Retrieved 2012-01-31. 

External links[edit]

Educational offices
Preceded by
Harold O. Levy
Schools Chancellor of New York City
2002-2010
Succeeded by
Cathie Black