Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Keith and Joel

There's a heavy turnover among New York City principals, and they're becoming younger each year, with less classroom experience.

NYC Schools Chancellor Joel Klein defends this practice:

Mr. Klein said the school system was simply catching up to the private sector in making room for talent of all ages, and noted Bill Gates's youth when he started Microsoft.

"Nobody said he was too young for the job," Mr. Klein said. "If you put artificial restrictions on human resources, you're going to lose good people who are up for the job."

Let's ignore the fact that Bill did not, in fact, apply for the job of running his own company. Let's just take a look at Bill. First, he got into Harvard. How many of Klein's principals have? Second, he dropped out of college. Does the chancellor advise his children to do such things?

Does the titular head of the largest school system in the country expect us to conclude that dropping out of college will lead most people to found revolutionary, multi-million dollar corporations?

Let's follow the chancellor's logic a little further. Look at Keith Richard. I doubt he finished high school. Yet he joined a rock and roll band and made millions of dollars. Should we urge our kids to drop out and join bands? By Chancellor Klein's model, it's a fine idea.

A few weeks ago, Keith fell out of a tree. Now he's OK.

But I wonder if he didn't perhaps collide with the chancellor on his way down.
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