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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bloomberg on Joel Klein and whether he would replace him

Working Families Party debate, July 2, 2009

Question: ”Obviously the school system is one of the most controversial issues in the campaign. Some people would say that the Chancellor has become a lightning rod – instead of bringing in constituencies, and working with them together to transform the school system, he has had a tendency to alienate them.…is there something that can be done to reduce these frictions – I not going ask you if you’re going to replace him..."

Bloomberg: "I am not.”... “Number one , I don’t think this is going to be controversial in the campaign – my understanding is that Bill Thompson said he is in favor of mayoral control of the schools….if you brought to a vote in Albany would overwhelmingly pass in Senate as it did in Assembly; no rational person would want to roll back the progress we’ve made in improving graduation rates"... etc. .

“Joel Klein comes from a city family… he grew up in public housing, he was the first one in his family to go to college…he understands. Is he tough and hard in making decisions; yes. And that’s why the school system has worked.

Could he have better social skills? We all could I suppose. His job is not to be a nice guy, his job is to deliver results.

If you ask Randi Weingarten or Ernie Logan, they would tell you that while they battle with Joel all the way, this school system has worked because of him, Dennis Walcott, everybody else….We got the right guy.”

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