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PR exec: What "most believe" about schools is what's important

If Schools Chancellor Joel Klein really ranks among Barack Obama’s choices for Secretary of Education, it might not even matter whether the New York City schools are any good.

At least that’s what one public relations expert says.

Patrick Riccards, a PR executive who specializes in education communications, wrote on his blog, Eduflack, yesterday that Klein would make a good Ed Sec pick because the chancellor has led a “revolution in public education.” But no sooner did he post than Riccards received a torrent of protests from New York City-based readers, who used the comments section to argue that Klein’s claims about higher test scores and increased parent engagement are inflated.

Riccards, who is based in D.C., immediately agreed that he has a lot to learn about New York’s schools. But then he wrote:

Does this change the possibility of Klein joining an Obama administration? I think not. The Klein story is still one that is well known and one that is well respected (well, maybe not as respected by UFT). In ed reform, believing you have done something is almost as important as actually doing it. And most believe we have improved NYC public schools.

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