Panel: Cathie Black isn’t qualified

Media executive Cathie Black isn’t qualified to run New York City schools, said an advisory panel that recommended against waiving the required superintendent’s certificate. Mayor Michael Bloomberg picked Black, who has no education experience and no personal experience with public schools, for her management talents.

Concerned about Black’s lack of an education background, State Education Commissioner David Steiner had recommended that the panel of eight experts vote against her application unless a chief academic officer was also designated.

“My recommendation was they vote ‘not at this time,'” said Steiner, who must still make a formal decision.

Fully half the panel, however, voted for a flat-out rejection. Just two voted to approve her as a replacement for Chancellor Joel Klein, who steps down at the end of the year. Another two went with Steiner’s suggestion — “not at this time.”

In a Quinnipiac University poll, 47 percent of city voters and 62 percent of public school parents said Black is a poor choice for chancellor.

If Black doesn’t get the waiver, she doesn’t get the job.

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  1. I understand Michelle Rhee’s available. I assume she’d be considered “qualified” for whatever that designation’s worth considering the environment of the job.

  2. Who on earth would take that job? The problem with a job like that, and a huge district like that, is it’s a sinking ship. It would be like jumping onto the Titanic, and thinking you’re going to be the one who can pull it back up.

    Huge districts like that, I hate to say (and also hate to believe it, as a long-time educator) are beyond help. The public education system in this country is disgustingly antiquated, and NYC schools is a prime example of that. I have been able to visit lots of classrooms there, and elsewhere, and was horrified by what I saw, and what was counted as “engaging classrooms.”

    I don’t have a solution, so I suppose I don’t have the right to rant. So, I’ll stop now.

  3. Roger Sweeny says:

    Bloomberg has agreed to nominate Shael Polakaw-Suransky, a former teacher and principal who is presently the system’s deputy commissioner for accountabilty, as Black’s number 2, a chief academic officer. It is expected that the state commissioner will now give his okay to Black.