The NY Daily News has a heart-tugging article about Cathie Black's new #2 man on the NYCDOE totem pole, Shael Polakow-Suransky.
His wife died of cancer last year.
The article details how devastated Polakow-Suransky was by her death and how he felt like a hole had been ripped in the world with her gone.
Very touching and sad.
It's manipulative too, of course.
Because it is an attempt to humanize a guy whose life's work has been to dehumanize the school system.
Polakow-Suransky is a numbers guy -he's all about the data, the test scores, the math.
You can bet Polakow-Suranksy wouldn't give a second thought to firing a teacher with a low value-added score two years running even if that teacher had been dealing with a loved one's devastating illness at home.
Don't get me wrong here - I am truly sorry to hear when a man of 37 loses his wife to cancer or any disease or tragic circumstance.
It is truly awful and my empathy goes out to him.
That said, let us not lose sight of who Polakow-Suranksy is - a Broad Foundation-trained data fetishist who makes it his job to take all of the humanity out of public education, to put in place systems that dehumanize teachers and children, to promote a public education philosophy that privileges data and only data as the sole reason for being.
He is an eduwanker through and through and no amount of horrible tragedy in his own life should make us lose sight of who he is and what he has been put into place to do - along with his boss, Cathie Black.