Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2007 (Revised January 2008)

Joel Klein and Leadership in the NYC Public Schools

by Christopher Marquis, Doug Guthrie, Richard Arum and Abby Larson


Reviews the work of the New York City School Chancellor Joel Klein and his attempt to create a Leadership Academy in order to better train principals to lead New York City public schools. Assesses what leadership skills and strategies are necessary for Klein to create a new cohort of effective site-based leaders for New York City Public Schools and further, what methodology Klein and the Leadership Academy establish to accomplish this task. The key question involves Klein's attempt to assess whether an institution dedicated to training better administrators can serve as the key component of a larger effort to improve the performance of the New York City public school system; on a more micro basis is the question of whether the Leadership Academy itself and its program to train principals has been effective in the context of the larger problems the school system faces. If so, will the principals trained be able to be successfully integrated and effectively utilized as organizational elements capable of leading site efforts necessary to improve New York City public school system performance?

Keywords: Education; Training; Leadership Development; Management Skills; Organizational Design; Performance Improvement; Education Industry; New York (city, NY);


Marquis, Christopher, Doug Guthrie, Richard Arum, and Abby Larson. "Joel Klein and Leadership in the NYC Public Schools." Harvard Business School Case 407-065, June 2007. (Revised January 2008.)