Now NYC is thinking about adding a Chicago-style reform to its school system by dividing the power between two school system leaders rather than investing total control in the chancellor.
Educators in Chicago say not so fast:
Chicago principals have a tip for New York: Pick one schools chancellor with education experience.
As state Education Commissioner David Steiner mulls whether to allow magazine executive Cathie Black to manage city schools with the help of a seasoned educator, Chicago principals who have a similar arrangement are advising against it.
"It's very difficult to have two people with such vastly different backgrounds and responsibilities [lead schools together]," Clarice Berry, president of Chicago's principals union, told the Daily News.
"We haven't had a superintendent in 10 years and we've found that it has been a mistake," Berry added.
"There's been no huge improvement in Chicago. It's not been the magic bullet people thought it would be," she said.
Chicago has an educator and manager share responsibility of the school system, a plan Steiner has suggested he favors for city schools. An advisory panel recommended this week that he not give Black a needed waiver to run schools, citing her lack of education credentials.
If there has been no huge improvement in Chicago then why, pray tell, are we using Chicago as the blueprint model for school reform?
And if there has been huge improvement in Chicago, why are we listening to the guy who ran Chicago schools and giving him the power to radically alter how the public education system works?