Schools Chancellor Cathie Black apologized yesterday for her off-color quip that birth control could help solve school overcrowding and for comparing her decisions on how to deal with limited resources to a mother deciding which of her children will live.
Julie Menin, chair of Community Board 1, told The Post that Black called her during halftime of yesterday's Jet game to say how much she regretted the remarks.
"She gave a very sincere apology, and she was very clear it didn't reflect her belief," said Menin, who was present at Black's ill-fated attempt at humor during a meeting at Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's office Thursday.
"She sounded very remorseful about the comment and wanting to be able to move forward and work together, and she assured me that she took the issue of overcrowding seriously," said Menin, who had criticized Black's comments.
"I do very much appreciate that she reached out."
And guess who seems to be behind the sudden apology?
Another artless, blueblood known for stepping on people's toes and feelings:
Menin believes the apology may have been motivated in part by the Bloomberg administration's embarrassment at Black's comments.
"I think City Hall is concerned about it. I think they realize the comments were more than an off-hand joke and that parents downtown take the issue very seriously," Menin said.
Indeed, the comments were more than an off-handed joke. They're an emblem of how the mayor and the DOE leadership see the overcrowding problem - as not something to be solved by the people who created it (i.e., city planners and the mayor himself) but rather as another problem in which they displace blame onto others.
Not enough school space downtown?
That has nothing to do with the city encouraging thousands of people to move downtown after 9/11 - rather that's the fault of all those people having too many kids.
Even though most people downtown don't seem to have any more kids than Ms. Black herself or Mayor Moneybags himself have.
So apparently Cruella DeBlack - the woman who compared school spacing issues to sending children off to Nazi death camps during the same meeting that she made the birth control joke - has been forced to apologize for the birth control joke, but not the Sophie's Choice/Nazi death camp reference.
That too is an emblem of the Bloomberg/Black/Klein education policy - some schools flourish and thrive under them and are given all the resources they need while others are snuffed out.
Just ask the students from these schools about that:
A controversial school play that skewers ex-Chancellor Joel Klein debuted Friday to raucous cheers from the actors' classmates.
Pep-rally-style applause greeted student actors from two Queens high schools for their on-again, off-again adaptation of the Greek tragedy "Antigone," which slams Klein over inequalities between the schools.
"After all the hard work we put in, people finally get to see us," said 10th-grader Nneoma Okorie, 15, who played the title role. "People get to hear our side of the story."
Administrators at Jamaica High School and Queens Collegiate initially banned the play, but later allowed the show to go on.
The teacher in charge of the production called the performance a victory for free speech.
The students "demanded they be listened to," said instructor Brian Pickett.
The one-act play took aim at school officials for creating a divisive atmosphere at the two schools, which share the same building. Queens Collegiate is a new and growing school, while Jamaica has been branded a failure and is slated for closure.
The play's opening scene depicts two sisters coming home from the two schools. A character who attends Jamaica complains that she didn't have textbooks, while Antigone cheerfully describes the spiffy computers at Queens Collegiate.
Klein is depicted as the villain King Creon, who favors Antigone in the ancient play.
"We cannot continue to invest in failing schools," Klein's character declares.
"Maybe you're failing the schools," responds another character, drawing a huge cheer from the audience.
Students came up with the idea for the play, "Declassified, Struggle for Existence: We Used to Eat Lunch Together," after attending a theater course at Queensborough Community College.
The initial decision to block the play drew protests from students and advocates for free speech.
Gee - I wonder why Cruella deBlack didn't show up at Jamaica High School to do her stand-up routine about birth control and Nazi death camps as an opening act to the student play "Declassified, Struggle for Existence: We Used to Eat Lunch Together"?