He also noted that more than 64 percent of the district's students are proficient in reading, a 23 percent increase from 2004. The chancellor said in 1998, only 28 percent of District 27's pupils were proficient and in the early part of the current decade, that number was in the low 40 percent range.Klein took questions from concerned school district parents, as well as council board members, tackling queries ranging from the implications of parochial school closings to whether or not the Department of Education would consider conducting psychological profiles for teachers in the wake of recent sexual impropriety between educators and students. The question drew a considerable amount of applause from those in attendance.On the latter, the chancellor said most teachers are doing a fine job and his department is not authorized to submit teachers to such profiles.Klein also mentioned that he is working with the Archdiocese of Brooklyn, which covers Queens, in hopes of obtaining some of the space freed up by schools that will be shuttered. The chancellor added that there will be room in the lower grades for Catholic school students and the department is looking to hire teachers from the parochial school system. He said there has been a "modest" amount of success on those fronts. graf of how many schools in queensWhile he acknowledged that the public school system is showing signs of improvement, Klein said there is still a long way to go."We need to find creative answers to tough questions," he said. "The world is getting more competitive. Education is the single most important issue for our city. " Klein said there are a few areas where the school system can do better, particularly arts and physical education, science and technology, and social studies."Our kids are not learning social studies the way they should be learning it," he said. The Department of Education's success, Klein said, has been the creation of smaller schools in certain environments. Under his leadership, Klein said the department has opened more than 100 small secondary schools in the past couple of years.The chancellor also visited Queensboro Community College later that evening.
©2005 Community News Group
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