All Klein All The Time!

Last Sunday the NY Daily News ed board weighed-in on the NYC teachers’ contract. It was the first of a series, Monday’s editorial here, Tuesday’s here, Wednesday’s here. Less important on specifics (though the Daily News does challenge both the Bloomberg-Klein administration and the UFT to get it right, an important point because both sides sign any contract) which are debatable than as an example of how isolated the teachers’ unions are becoming nationally on this issue.

Essentially, the current state of affairs persists because of political muscle rather than broad intellectual buy-in. Some folks inside the teachers’ unions clearly get this, but that view is not widespread. Ominously, some in the private sector labor community are starting to make noise about this, too.

In her biography of Picasso, Gertrude Stein observes that, “It is an extraordinary thing but it is true, wars are only a means of publicizing the things already accomplished, a change, a complete change, has come about, people no longer think as they were thinking but no one knows it, no one recognizes it, no one really knows it except the creators…

…The sprit of everybody is changed, of a whole people is changed, but mostly nobody knows it and a war forces them to recognize it because during a war the appearance of everything changes very much quicker, but the entire change has been accomplished and the war is only something which forces everyone to recognize it.”

She was writing about cubism, and war, but it seems applicable here. Seems like there is a big change coming on this issue and a generalized consensus about the nature of the problems — though too few people are willing to go on the record.

So you decide! Joel Klein, Alan Bersin, Roy Romer, Arlene Ackerman, Steven Adamowski, and Eli Broad as the Lost Generation? Rod Paige as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Margaret Spellings as Zelda? With his upcoming book does Joe Williams secure his place as Stein? Who is Toklas?

Also, Wash. Post’s Dobbs profiles Joel Klein and what’s happening in NYC. In yesterday’s WSJ Diane Ravitch took after Bloomberg and Klein. Odd politics, Klein, a Democrat, needs a Republican mayor to win so he can stay in his post and that Republican is under attack from conservatives. Never a dull moment!

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