SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Is it The Kinsey Report or the McKinsey Report?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Is it The Kinsey Report or the McKinsey Report?

Tonight we have a special treat. We have a guest blogger. Noted education activist, porn star, and cougar Nina Hartley has decided to drop her two cents on the disaster that is Bloomberg/Klein. How did Ms Hartley get involved in education activism? According to her email, Ms Hartley explained that she was doing research on the famed Kinsey Reports of the 1950's and came across a study by the McKinsey Group, known as the McKinsey Study that was authorized by Joel Klein. Intrigued, she studied it with a fine tooth comb at first thinking it was a study done specifically about Klein and his "physical shortcomings," but soon realized it was about education and she decided to take up the cause. We owe Ms Hartley a debt of gratitude.

So without any further ado, tonight's guest blogger, Nina Hartley.

One of the first studies Klein commissioned was with the McKinsey group.
That study reminded me of how the NIH gives out grants. It finds scientists
willing to come back with the desired results a priori, where the results are a given before the investigation is undertaken. Something akin to OSI's visit to a
principal's office, where the investigator asks: "which way to you want this to go?"
What happened in the McKinsey study? Klein knew he would never reduce class size, because in his personal universe, size never matters. Instead, he wanted to hear that in South Korea and in Taiwan really excellent teachers teach sixty students in a room. And that is why those students in those studies excel, and that is what he wanted to hear. The immediate result of that study was the so called Jack Welch 10% solution.
Principals who were already stripped of tenure and working under constant fear and paranoia and the daily threat --they could be fired at will, became as totally obedient and ruthless as the Stanford students in the Zimbardo experiment.
But what really happened was Klein gave every principal (former shop teachers, gym teachers, individuals who got into bed with school board members, either meretriciously or politically, who couldn't survive in the classroom), the power to destroy the careers of truly talented, dedicated and devoted teachers with a conscience and integrity. And Klein used every dirty trick in his prosecutorial playbook (subjecting teachers to psychiatric exams, getting special ed/ behavior disordered students to hand copy pre-written statements, etc. etc.) to convince the public that these were dangerous teachers that needed to be removed to protect children. (Has anyone ever seen the photo of Klein crouched on the floor with a female Kindergarten child sitting on his crotch?)
And while all this was happening, the UFT said: "Don't worry, you still have to get paid" as if human dignity no longer mattered. And now that the ATR registry is growing exponentially with the mass closings of larger high schools, the gloomy results are all too predictable, but not inevitable. History proves that nothing good ever comes out of giving in to bullies and dictators.