Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Tale Of Two NY Post Cathie Black Editorials

First, a NY Post editorial exhorting the NYSED to grant Cathie Black, Mayor Bloomberg's pick to replace Joel Klein at Tweed, a waiver for lacking credentials for the chancellor job:

Because she has none of the credentialing that bureaucrats hold so dear, Cathleen Black will need a special waiver from state Education Commissioner David Steiner in order to assume the post of city schools chancellor.

And that waiver should be granted without undue delay of any sort, and certainly without interference -- direct or otherwise -- from the teachers union or others with axes to grind.

Please take note, Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch -- and your patron, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

The state requires all school superintendents to have at least three years of teaching experience, as well as graduate work in school administration.

It's a mandate that might well be proper for suburban or other smaller school districts, but it's of limited value to New York City: The Department of Education has a $23 billion budget, and its 135,000-plus workforce ranks it as one of the largest employers in America.

In any event, the law allows for waivers for "exceptionally qualified persons" whose "exceptional training and experience are the substantial equivalent."

Then-Commissioner Richard Mills had no trouble granting a waiver in 2002, when Mayor Bloomberg named Joel Klein, a career lawyer, to the position.

Just as he did two years earlier when the Board of Education elected as chancellor yet another attorney, Harold O. Levy, over then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani's bitter objections.

Certainly, Black's management credentials appear to be at least the equal of Klein and Levy.

Which is why there is no apparent reason why she shouldn't get a pass, too.

As Bloomberg said yesterday, the Department of Education now has a full complement of education professionals to execute policy.

What it needs is a proven manager capable of making policy.

Cathleen Black appears to fit the bill.

Now here's a NY Post editorial from this weekend after the Cathie Black emails were released and revealed her to be as clueless about education and unqualified for the job as her critics said she was:

Mayor Bloomberg fought for a few months to keep his ill-fated schools chancellor Cathie Black in office. But he fought for two years to keep internal e-mails about her hidden.

And boy is it clear why.

Black was a publishing exec with no experience in education. When she was appointed chancellor, she didn’t take a crash course on public schools or even visit shrines to Maria Montessori.

Instead, she dreamed of Oprah.

The e-mails were released Thursday under court order following a long and bitter lawsuit. They cover the first 10 days after Bloomberg announced Black as the new CEO of city schools in November 2010.

Because she had no background in education, Black needed a waiver from state authorities to ease her into office. The result was a bizarre PR campaign hatched by a coterie of top city officials to get prominent women to back Black.

They courted celebrities such as fashion designers Donna Karan and Diane von Furstenberg. They tried Caroline Kennedy, who wisely didn’t respond. “Would we want ivanka trump?” wondered Black in one e-mail. The jewel in the crown was Oprah, who sang Black’s praises in a newspaper interview and sealed the deal.

Ivanka, Oprah, DKNY — these are the stars of the supermarket check-out counter. Yet their sign-on was the priority of the woman in charge of our public schools. And she was appointed by a mayor who campaigned on mayoral control.

The city’s lawyers argued that revealing these embarrassing e-mails would discourage people from public service. If that means no more Cathie Blacks, it’s the best news we’ve heard all week.

The shamelessness of the Post editors to make as if they had nothing to do with the Bloomberg p.r. campaign to get Black her waiver back in 2010 is not a surprise.

Nonetheless, I would just like to point out how full of crap these people are with yesterday's editorial.


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