In a whole era of arrogant men and women, ethically and morally challenged and entirely untrained for the powerful positions they’ve attained, Klein’s fabrication of his successful chancellorship really wins top marks. What claptrap. [And by the way, some Australians aren't buying it either — see this link posted on Ednotes.]
I do want to talk about one point Klein makes in amongst all that corpospeak:
Our "children first" reform strategy is based on three principles: leadership, empowerment and accountability.
This is not new, of course, and I must credit Ed in the Apple who wrote back in December of 2006 that Klein and Cerf were up to no good. In a post called “The Education NeoCon Plans for the NYC School System: Privatize and Walk Away,” he asked:
“Who are these “masked men”?He also spoke of the hundreds of new empowerment schools the DoE was creating, in a world
The new motto of the DOE is “leadership, empowerment, accountability,” expect to see it on T-shirts and emblazoned on banners. Makes sense: the three leaders have taught for a total of less than ten years, none has ever lead a school and are thoroughly disliked, or unknown to the hundred thousand employees and million kids and their parents in the NYC school system.”
where schools are “managed” by outside organizations under a performance contract. In the totally cynical world of politics it might make sense: if schools fail it’s the fault of the outside manager, if schools succeed the Mayor can claim credit.I know I didn’t listen carefully enough back then. I only remember thinking “What? More restructuring?” It took a couple of more years for me to understand the nature of the war BloomKlein had already started waging against public education.
For the heck of it this evening, I decided to google the three terms Klein was pushing to the Aussies — leadership, empowerment, and accountability — to discover who coined them and who’s been throwing them around.
The earliest reference I found came up in Shropshire Online, “Your Gateway to Services and Information in Shropshire.” On the agenda of a meeting in November 1998 was an Organisational Review that listed leadership, empowerment and accountability among the “guiding principles for the way we work.”
Curious ... a British governmental Tourist Agency.
There was Sandra Donovan, who wrote a paper for the journal Industrial Biotechnology back in December 2006 called "Ten Keys to Successful Technology Commercialization":
Commercializing technology successfully is the result of thoroughly understanding and applying the basic principles [which] include . . . leadership, empowerment, accountability . . . all of which have significant impact on commercialization endeavors.Biotechnology. Industry. Commercialization. Interesting ...
In May 2007 an announcement appeared for a new staff development initiative at the National Solid Waste Management Authority in Antigua. It would be led by Myrtle Looby, founder and CEO of LEAP Training Consultants. LEAP stands for “Leadership Empowerment Accountability Professionalism.”
Hmmm ... Solid Waste Management.
The journal Design Intelligence had an article by James Cramer in October of the same year on “Global Growth, Design Demographics, and Business Success.” He wrote about a diagnostic analysis called LEAP™, derived from the words “leadership, empowerment, accountability, and processes.” The say they have a way to assess
the culture of an organization as it relates to real world success. Twenty-six critical areas of a firm’s culture under the umbrella zones of professional services, marketing, finance, and operations are analyzed . . This LEAP™ diagnostic has been used for over three years now to identify strategic priorities, to create alignment in merger situations, and to create a meritocracy environment that produces high performance firms.I hate to admit it, but I'm not familiar with Design Demographics. Does it involve people?
This might, but I can't make heads or tails out of it. Let me just throw it in for good measure:
An application for an award being offered by the Red Cross says that candidates must share six “core values,” one of which is teamwork. They must be "committed to workforce leadership, empowerment, and accountability."
So they've found their way into Emergency Medical Services as well. Nice.
Any ten-year-old can tell you what’s missing in all this leadership, empowerment and accountability.
It’s children, and it’s learning. And we don't need no Joel Klein to tell us that.