Like many other parents, Lisa B. Donlan was cautiously optimistic back in 2002 when Joel I. Klein, a former federal prosecutor and Bertelsmann executive, was appointed chancellor of the New York City public school system. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg had just won control of the city schools from Albany, and while Ms. Donlan was happy with her own children’s school, she knew that parts of the system were badly broken.
“Back then, people were hopeful, people were open-minded,” Ms. Donlan recalled this week.
But when Mr. Bloomberg announced this month that his next pick for chancellor was Cathleen P. Black, the chairwoman of Hearst Magazines, Ms. Donlan was outraged. She not only signed a petition asking the state education commissioner, David M. Steiner, to deny Ms. Black the waiver required for chancellor candidates who lack the necessary education credentials, but also joined other parent leaders in descending upon Dr. Steiner’s apartment on Monday to deliver a bound stack of petitions and letters opposing the appointment.
The difference in Ms. Donlan’s reaction, and in that of many public officials and private citizens, cannot solely be explained by Ms. Black’s even slimmer experience in the public schools (Mr. Klein at least went to them, and taught briefly) or her high-society profile and dearth of public service (Mr. Klein had served as deputy White House counsel and as the nation’s top antitrust official). It is as much about the drastically changed educational and political landscape over the past eight years. In many ways, whether people support or oppose her appointment has become a proxy for what they think of the mayor and his imperial style of running the city.
In 2002, Mr. Klein benefited from parental frustration: he was the brainy and committed outsider, swooping in to save what the insiders could not and bring a fresh eye to problems that had ossified.
But parents and others frustrated by Mr. Klein’s and Mr. Bloomberg’s approach do not see another noneducator from the upper crust as a relief; they see her as more of the same at best, and at worst, a slap in the face. “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me,” said Mark S. Weprin, a City Councilman from Queens.
I can sum the whole article up in just a few words - the mayor is an arrogant, imperialistic, autocratic asshole and people are sick of him, sick of the way he has run the school system, and sick of the way he displaces blame for all of the problems in the system on others and refuses to take any responsibility for them himself.
And now, we have a governor coming in with the same arrogant, imperialistic, autocratic asshole tendencies.
It's time to take these people down.