I didn't see how changing one word in the title of the "Chief Accountability Officer" at the NYCDOE and making him the "Chief Academic Officer" was a major concession and said so at the time.
Sure, there are a whole host of duties the new academic officer is supposed to have - but who really knows if he'll really have them?
Let's be honest, Bloomberg is very big on winning even when he has supposedly "lost."
Take congestion pricing.
Did you notice how all those pedestrian plazas showed up around the city in the year after Bloomberg lost that battle?
Did you notice how traffic got slower around the city now that cars cannot drive through Times Square, Herald Square and other places around the city?
The mayor may not have won the congestion pricing battle, but he sure made his point about traffic in the city - and then he made sure he put an exclamation point on it by making it even slower.
And who knows - perhaps congestion pricing comes around again and gets passed.
Certainly the mayor set the conditions for just that to happen.
I suspect we are seeing the same thing with this Black matter.
It looks like Bloomberg lost on the face of it, but really, who knows what power the #2 guy has?
Joshua Greenman in the Daily News says pretty much the same thing:
Few men who made their names as political moderates are as uncomfortable with compromise as Mayor Bloomberg, who's just not used to having to bend in a city where he's basically the only political game in town.
But that's exactly what he appeared to do Friday, in naming a chief academic officer to be at Cathie Black's right hand so state Education Commissioner David Steiner agrees to grant Black the waiver to serve as chancellor.
The question now, which will be answered in the coming months: Was it a real concession or a cosmetic one?
in the end, the crow may just taste like chicken. Because what kind of power Shael Polakow-Suransky, the chief accountability officer promoted to be the new No. 2, will actually have remains to be seen.
For the school system to run efficiently, one person ultimately has to be in charge of making all major decisions. One person has to take marching orders from the mayor and take the heat from the public.
That will still be Black ... won't it?
Sure, Polakow-Suransky will presumably be in the room when big calls are made. He'll be able to give Black advice and insight on the often vexing issues. He'll be able to hold the map and be the navigator while she drives.
But Presidents use their vice presidents as they see fit. Same with governors and lieutenant governors. Mayors have first deputy mayors. Sometimes they listen; often they don't. There is no question, zero, where the buck stops.
Bloomberg laid out the new No. 2's responsibilities, and they are substantial. But he is still clearly under Black, and everyone knows that a job description on paper means nothing if a boss wants to use you differently.
So unless Polakow-Suransky has formal authority, Steiner might have just taken a stand to earn the illusion of a concession.
Then we'll come to learn that Bloomberg won this particular power struggle. And those dashed expectations may make some Bloomberg critics even angrier a few months from now than they are today.
So the Times can frame this as a major Bloomberg concession all it wants.
The fact is, Bloomberg got Black as chancellor.
Steiner gave her the waiver.
The #2 guy is just some Broad Foundation-trained eduwanker who specializes in testing, data and "accountability."
Black herself specializes in cost-cutting and layoffs.
Between the two of them, the New York City school system is going to get more of what it got from Klein.
And at the end of the day, Bloomberg got what he wanted.