Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

No Wonder De Blasio Didn't Want An Open Process For The Chancellor Pick

With the news that Bill de Blasio's team may have reached out to Michelle Rhee acolyte/DCPS chancellor Kaya Henderson to interview her for the NYCDOE chancellor position, we now can see why he got snarky yesterday over his flip flop on having an open process to pick the chancellor.

To recap, De Blasio said the following about picking a chancellor last year:

He said at a mayoral forum a year ago that schools chancellor candidates must undergo a “serious public screening...We need a chancellor who is presented to the public, not just forced down our throat.”

This week he said:

But Monday, as he mulls his own schools chancellor pick, he said there would be no “beauty contest” where finalists for the job are publicly identified and scrutinized. The change angered some education advocates.

“I want to be very blunt about this. That was clearly a reference to an unfortunate chapter in our city’s history related to Cathie Black,” de Blasio said of his earlier comments. “And I am going to ensure that we will never have a situation like that on my watch.”


“We are talking to a number of individuals who have extraordinary careers in education,” de Blasio said. “This is an open process in the sense that any name could be put forward, and names are being looked at that clearly have extraordinary educational credentials. So there’s not going to be a Cathie Black situation here.”

A reporter pressed de Blasio on how a public screening could be possible if the public is not informed of who the candidates are. An irritated-sounding de Blasio replied only: “I’m defining what I was saying then and what I’m saying now.”

With Henderson's name surfacing in a Times article about the chancellor search, it turns out de Blasio was quite right - "any name could be put forward."

Henderson's is the kind of name you wouldn't expect from a candidate for mayor who ran on turning back the clock on the standardized test-based school system that uses test scores as bludgeons against students, teachers and schools.

I must admit, I have a little skepticism that Henderson really was interviewed for the chancellor gig.

But with de Blasio already flip flopping on having an open process to choose the next chancellor, it is quite possible that he is set to flip flop on the kind of chancellor he wants to run the system and the kind of system he wants to run.

And if this is the kind of person he is interviewing for the chancellor job, then I can see why he would want no public scrutiny.

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