Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Monday, December 9, 2013

Valerie Strauss Says Kaya Henderson Was Never Seriously Considered By De Blasio For Chancellor

Informative post from Valerie Strauss about de Blasio's chancellor search:

Among the people who have been considered at one point or another in the decision-making process are, according to sources, Joshua Starr, Montgomery County Public Schools superintendent, who has good union relations and who became nationally known when he called for a three-year moratorium on standardized testing last year; Carmen Farina, a former superintendent of a New York district when de Blasio was a school board member and who has long been an advisor to the mayor-elect; Kathleen Cashin, a member of the New York State Board of Regents and a former teacher and district superintendent.

Kaya Henderson, the chancellor of schools in Washington D.C., was thought to be an early candidate and de Blasio and Henderson had a phone conversation, but sources say de Blasio would not select her because she supports the kind of school reform he has criticized. Other names have popped up too, along the way, including Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett, and AndrĂ©s Alonso, the former chief executive officer of Baltimore City schools who resigned last summer after six years and who was a deputy chancellor in New York before going to Baltimore.

Strauss goes on to say that de Blasio really wanted Linda Darling-Hammond, but she turned the gig down.

Couple of questions:

If de Blasio wouldn't pick Henderson because she supports the kind of school reform he has criticized, why was she even on the list to be interviewed?

And if Henderson was torpedoed as a possible chancellor pick because of her support for the kind of school reform de Blasio has criticized, why hasn't Barbara Byrd-Bennett, infamous for closing 50 schools in Chicago this year, been cut from the list as well?

The DN reported the Obama administration has been putting pressure on de Blasio to pick someone who isn't perceived as "anti-testing."

I wrote yesterday that if the Obama administration is lobbying behind the scenes, you can bet that other education reformers are as well.

That's why it is a good idea to write Bill de Blasio's transition team and let them know how choosing a pro-corporate reform figure for chancellor is unacceptable.

With all that lobbying going on behind the scenes and with de Blasio not getting his first choice as chancellor (at least according to Strauss's reporting), you never know what can happen in this kind of process.

Better to get on record and remind Mayor-Elect de Blasio of those promises he made during the election about turning back from a test-centered, charter-focused school system.

You can find the information to contact de Blasio here.


  1. Replies
    1. Great! Every email and tweet, every phone call and letter helps. Maybe de Blasio wants to do the right thing, but it's important for us to let him know he should follow up on that instinct rather than kowtow to the moneyed classes.