Departure Of Schools Chancellor A Surprise To Many
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Many teachers and parents who spoke with NY1 Tuesday say they were surprised by the sudden resignation of Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, but are more concerned over the qualifications of the woman who is replacing him.
At PS 11 in Chelsea, teachers and a parent coordinator had praise for Joel Klein who oversaw the schools for eight years.
"For us it's devastating because he was really instrumental in a lot of improvements in this school. I mean, this school is really a diamond in the public school system and he helped make it so," said PS 11 parent Lorrie Veasey.
"I liked some of the things that he did while he was here -- bringing parent coordinators, make parent involvement an important piece of the picture in New York City schools," said PS 11 Parent Coordinator Stephen McGill.
One parent, though, said it was time for a change of leadership and that school reforms need to go further.
"More after school programs and stuff like that for the kids, take them off the street, stuff like that, smaller class sizes," said PS 11 parent Ralph Ferreias.
There was also concern about the new chancellor, Cathie Black, who comes from the media and business worlds. She is a member of an advisory board for a network of charter schools, but has never managed a school herself, or been a teacher.
"How is she going to lead us if she doesn't have experience being in the classroom and knowing what our responsibilities are," said city school teacher Sarah Fridman.
Still, a senior at the nearby "School of the Future" says he's willing to give the new chancellor a chance.
"I mean it would be nice to see a first woman take over everything. There's a change for everything, every now and then, change would be nice," said high school senior Eddie Martinez.
Teachers who spoke with NY1 say they were also upset about the suddenness of the change, adding that a heads up would have helped them and their students prepare.