Critics Disparage Chancellor Pick; Mayor Defends Choice

NEW YORK (1010 WINS/CBS 2) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg is sticking to his guns a day after several lawmakers denounced at a news conference the selection of Cathie Black as Schools Chancellor.

On his weekly radio show on WOR-AM, Bloomberg insisted Friday that Black, the chairwoman of the Hearst publishing empire, has what it takes to run the nation’s largest school system.

Despite the mayor’s insistence, some parents and lawmakers are giving the mayor flack over his pick and working to derail it.

robert jackson Critics Disparage Chancellor Pick; Mayor Defends Choice

City Council Education Chair Robert Jackson (Photo/CBS 2)

City Council Education Chair Robert Jackson wants the state to withhold approval for Black.

“The bottom line is, she has no experience,” Jackson told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello, “I’ve already put a phone call in to Mayor Bloomberg to ask him to withdraw her nomination.”

In a letter to state Education Commissioner David Steiner, Jackson stated “I do not see evidence of experience in education that a chancellor needs to guide our nation’s largest and most complex public school system.”

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

“This is an organization, an agency of the city, that deals with 1.1 million customers, has 135,000 employees, a budget of $23 billion a year,” Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg insists the position is a management job and that Black has all the experience necessary to replace Joel Klein who is joining News Corp.

“She’ll have plenty of educational experts to lean on, to help her in formulating policy,” Bloomberg said. “The real issue is does she have the character, the smarts and the courage to do what’s right – and I think this is the woman that does.”

He added that many people think Black is the one for the job. Bloomberg praises Black for being willing to take on what he says is a “tough, competitive job.”

One parent and education activist who spoke to Aiello faulted the mayor for not looking outside his own circle.

“Mayor Bloomberg considers the schools his private fiefdom to do whatever he wants with them, and he inhabits a bubble — a very small world of other billionaires and top corporate executives,” Leonie Haimson said.

The mayor is also rejecting criticism that he did not conduct a lengthy public search.

“To go through a lengthy search process in the middle of a school year is just not something that is in our kids’ interests – think about that,” Bloomberg said.

He adds that a public search would also limit applicants.

“Nobody would talk to you about a job if it was in the public demand because it’s too embarrassing to them if they don’t get selected,” Bloomberg said.







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  • Matzpen

    Cathie Black attended private school, as did her two children, never public school, and she has no education background whatsoever. This is the multi-millionaire media mogul that Mayor Bloomberg wants to run NYC’s education system!

  • fl

    bllomberg should worry about how his schools are run especially district 26
    in queens , lies and more lies , i guess it is a clerical error !!!!!! the whole system sucks and my daughter lives it every day

  • cary

    Bloomberg has gotten us one of the most intelligent and capable people in the country to run our schools. True, it is annoying that he and his friends behave like a royal court but let’s be real. This is a potential coup for NYC kids. She has run a huge corporation and she isn’t in it for the money, she must really want to do some good.

    • andy warhol

      i wonder

  • J. H.

    If the mayor believes it would do more harm to do a lengthy search during the school year because it “is not in our kids best interest”, then the mayor truly does not have the best interest of our children in the forefront. I ask his honor, would he want to fly on a plane that has only been sort of taken care of over the years, or on a plane that has been looked after well. Our students derseve better than this. Mr. mayor, if you put as much care into your own well being then you should do the same for the student of NYC.

  • KPMC

    “On his weekly radio show on WOR-AM, Bloomberg insisted Friday that Black, the chairwoman of the Hearst publishing empire, has what it takes to run the nation’s school system.”

    I know we New Yorkers sometimes think we are all that matters in the USA but I think you are missing a word there. Black is not tapped to “run the nation’s school system” but maybe you mean “the nation’s LARGEST school system.

    There is something to be said there when an article about education isn’t properly proof-read.

  • D-Train

    I think she’s a good choice. Rarely is a specialist in anything a capable organizational leader. Mechaniics don’t run Mercedes Benz. The Chair of Health & Human Srvcs is not a doctor. Traders don’t run investment banking firms. Community organizers don’t run countries… oh wait sorry about that last one…

  • Susan Bardach

    It is inconceivable to me that the best person the Mayor could find was an individual with no experience in the educational field. The fact that Ms. Black is on the board of a charter school is of course of no consequence. That would be like asking a person on the board of a hospital to perform brain surgery.

    I have been an educator for my entire career. The field of education is one that provides an essential service to children and, although there are business elements that must be considered, the focus is far more humane. It is amazing to me that Mayor Bloomberg chooses one of his “pals” instead of someone who has previously run a school system.

    Joel Klein had five minutes of experience in the schools prior to his appointment and other than organizing and reorganizing the schools, his progress was minimal. Maybe the solution is to have a true educator as the choice with a business background second.

  • Shari Bernstein Weiss

    Since when are NYC 1.1 million students called customers?????? I totally resent that kind of labeling. I teach students…and my first grade son is a student, not a customer. The NYC Public School system is not a business organization and does not need be run by a magazine publisher. We need an educator to fix our school system and give the teacher and STUDENTS the respect we all deserve!

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    […] Friday’s Scottish gossip The SFA will tell Celtic to forget the idea of a probe into their defeat to Hearts this week. Read more on BBC News Bloomberg Defends Schools Chancellor Choice Mayor Michael Bloomberg insisted Friday that Cathie Black, the chairwoman of the Hearst publishing empire, has what it takes to run the nation’s school system. Read more on CBS New York […]

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