Our blog today brings us from D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee to New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein—two chancellors cut from a similar, if not the same, cloth. Klein has been a mover and shaker in turning the New York City schools upside down and pushing reform at every opportunity since he took the helm.

He has achieved a lot of change and sparked much controversy, too (and we’d certainly love to hear your viewpoints on him).

In the New York Sun on September 18, 2008, an article discussed education books that have proven meaningful and inspirational to him. And—yes, here’s some shameless self-promotion—he cited our book, Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns. For such an influential education reform leader to mention our book is quite an honor for us. You can read about it here: http://www.nysun.com/new-york/when-it-comes-to-new-inspiration-chancellor-klein/86133/.

Some other books he cited were William Ouchi’s influential book, Making Schools Work: A Revolutionary Plan to Get Your Children the Education They Need, as well as David Whitman’s new book, Sweating the Small Stuff. The article focuses mostly on Ouchi’s book, but Whitman’s new volume is also quite interesting. In a future white paper forthcoming from Innosight Institute, I will address some of Whitman’s points.

What other education books have inspired you? Why? And what common themes do you notice in Joel Klein’s choices?

– Michael B. Horn


  • Michael B. Horn
    Michael B. Horn

    Michael B. Horn is Co-Founder, Distinguished Fellow, and Chairman at the Christensen Institute.