NEW YORK (CBS 2) — New York City Schools Chancellor Cathie Black opened up a can of worms on Thursday after joking about her solution for overcrowding in schools.
“Couldn’t we just have some birth control for a while?” Black mused. “It could really help us out a lot.”
There were chuckles from those attending the meeting, but some said her attempt at a joke was not funny.
Now the chancellor is under fire, facing criticism from parents, reports CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman.
At a meeting Thursday night in Tribeca, Black compared the tough decisions on schools to a classic book set after the holocaust that was later made into a film starring Meryl Streep.
“So it is, and I don’t mean this in a flip way, it is many Sophie’s choices,’” Black said.
“As we know, in ‘Sophie’s Choice,’ one child dies, so I … you know … I was offended by it. I’m sure the people were,” parent Tricia Joyce said.
Tricia Joyce was at that meeting, called by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, to discuss overcrowding in the schools. There were about 40 people in the room. Joyce has children who attend P.S. 234 in Tribeca. Those at the meeting also heard the new schools chancellor make the joke — after a parent who is also an NYU professor detailed the growing number of schoolchildren over the next few years.
The Department of Education released the following statement: “Chancellor Black takes the issue of overcrowding very seriously. She regrets if she left a different impression by making an off-handed joke in the course of that conversation.”
“It’s actually … out of context. You know if she was nervous it’s not an unusual thing to have said, given the news she had just been delivering. Was it in good taste? In my opinion, no,” Joyce said.
The people that Guzman talked to want to give Chancellor Black a chance. They said they’re hoping this was just a misstep, and not typical of what they could expect in the years to come.
The statement released by Department of Education came only after persistent requests from the media. At first, all the DOE said was: “no comment.”
I think I can see how this movie ends - the charter schools live (and get the extra funding and space) and the traditional public schools, well, you know.
Seriously, she compared funding and space issues to a movie about the Holocaust in which one character lives and the other is killed by the Nazis.
Is there ANYBODY in public life, outside of perhaps Sarah Palin, who says as many dumb things as Cathie Black?
I'm starting to think that prediction the Fordham Foundation ed deform hack made about Black being gone by spring may turn out to be accurate
Nearly every time she opens her mouth in public, her foot goes inside.
Some days, both feet go in.
Yesterday, it was both feet.
Heckuva job, Cathie with an "i"!!!!