A few months ago I wrote a column for TIME asking who is qualified to run a school system and saying the verdict is out on Cathie Black. Well, jury’s back. And the answer is apparently no.
Josh Greeman’s take on all this is worth-reading although I think this is more an unforced error for Mayor Bloomberg than an error overall. And even with Easter coming late this year you gotta give Fordham’s Mike Petrilli some props for predicting last winter that Black would be gone by Easter.
My sense was that Black just never quite liked schools or school people and that’s a key aspect of the job and vital to doing it well. Even Joel Klein’s critics acknowledged how much he cared about the work and the people (adults and kids). You never got that vibe with Black.
Also, NYC’s John White is off to New Orleans to run the school system there, good for them and good for him. And David Steiner, NY’s state education commissioner, announced today he’s heading back to private life later in the year.
Update: Worth mentioning the obvious, on the commissioner job the ideal candidate is already in Albany – current Deputy Commissioner John King.
2 Replies to “Black Out! And She’s Not The Only One…Plus An Edupick For NYS”
Not an error over all? You must be joking. You really think that running schools can be done effectively without educational experience? But that aside, having taught in New Orleans and a New Teacher Project Teaching Fellow from ’03 to ’05, I predict a similar fate for John White. Keep in mind, Supt. Valas did not so much “run” NOPS as farm it out. He turned over as many schools as possible to charters. These charters cherry picked the students and left the regular public schools with the most challenging students. Any supposed “success” in NOLA is a result of student selection, not great schools. Furthermore, keep in mind, on top of all of this, a great number of students in need never returned to NOLA after the storm. Finally, I am sure Mr. White will continue farming out the system to charters and “run” a few dumping ground schools for those students the charters do not want.
“My sense was that Black just never quite liked schools or school people.”
Ya think? She proudly went shoe-shopping her first day off the job.