Thursday, November 11, 2010

Steve Koss: The Cathleen Black story just gets weirder and weirder


There's so much stuff coming in on the Cathie Black story that I can't keep up. Tony Avella, Robert Jackson and other pols are calling for a denial of the waiver she needs. Some forces in the Black community are rising up against Black. I'm assuming she will be at the PEP meeting Tuesday night at Brooklyn Tech (wow, she may have to leave Manhattan) specifically to see the Real Reformers with their red RR capes perform. Ed Notes will be there to take tape. Check the sidebar for some funny stuff and links to an online petition. Lots of these springing up. Check Leonie's NYCParent blog, Perdido, NYC Educator  and othere  on our blogroll for more.

 From Steve: 
Wow -- the latest story posted on the NY Times, titled "No Education Experience Needed to Run Schools? An Idea Is Taken to a New Level," ( ) contains a fascinating new wrinkle on Cathleen Black's educational non-background.

Seems that her singular claim to education involvement was being on an advisory board of some sort for Harlem Village Academy. However, the Times is reporting that she not only just joined that group a few months ago and has yet to attend a meeting! Even so, guess who is chairman of that HVA Advisory Board? None other than Rupert Murdoch, Joel Klein's new boss!  The incestuousness in all this is positively stomach-turning.

So it now appears that Ms. Black's entire education background consists of having attended a mentor day in a Detroit school with Michelle Obama and having been "principal for a day" at an unidentified Bronx school.

The Times article also goes on to describe the waiver issue and Tony Avella's letter to Steiner about not granting the waiver. It als expresses concerns about Ms. Black's lack of qualifications. Three people are quoted as supporting her. Two of them are Merryl Tisch -- Chancellor of the State Board of Regents -- and Deborah Kenney -- chief executive of the HVA charter school network. The third person is nothing short of priceless -- the number one shill for big NYC corporations (as president of the Partnership for New York City, a sort of self-appointed chamber of commerce with very close ties to Bloomberg), the inimitable Kathryn Wylde.

Wow! The battle lines here could not possibly be clearer.

Steve Koss

Loretta Prisco added this:
Could it be that within the close to 100,000 professional DOE staff, hundreds more of university people in education in NYC alone, the Mayor couldn't locate one educator for Chancellor? If Klein taught classes of 32 children, he would’ve known why class size is important. If Klein taught, he would’ve known that his teaching couldn't - and shouldn't be measured by a test score. If Klein taught, he would’ve known that most beginning teachers are not as strong as when they have experience. If Klein taught, he would’ve known the importance of parent/community involvement. If Klein taught, he would’ve known the importance of having the trust and confidence of staff and parents. And so it will be with Cathleen Black – only a prettier smile and charming personality.
What is really frightening is the hold that Bloomberg will have on the media: Klein at Fox, Black from Hearst, Bloomberg from Bloomberg news. And who knows how many others are hidden away. He/she who controls the media from their Park Avenue addresses and the Sun Valley, Idaho conference of the publishing elite, controls the parameters of discussion, the public agenda, and policy making, and the ability to edit out all other opinions.

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