Thursday, April 5, 2012

From the Guy Who Gave You Cathie Black: The Self-promoting Bio of David Steiner

I can't think of many people I have less respect for than the Merryl Tisch/Bloomberg former State Ed Comm suckup worm David Steiner who turned tail and ran after he made the case for Cathie Black as chancellor a few short months before Bloomberg pulled her plug one year ago today (Happy Anniversary, Cathie).

I saw that he will be on a panel with NYU Prof Sean Corcoran who is someone I couldn't have more respect for.  Putting them on the same stage as equals is outrageous enough to make me want to get up early and attend the breakfast and toss a few grenades Steiner's way. But I will probably be on a day trip that day. Oh, well, I'll just have to eat breakfast on the road.

Here is Steiner's bio ( - the fictional version
David Steiner has devoted his professional work to the cause of education reform for the last quarter century. As Chair of the Department of Education Policy at Boston University, he authored what became nationally debated research on the deficiencies of teacher preparation programs in America.  As Director of Education at the National Endowment of the Arts, he introduced paradigm shifting programs of support for experiences of deep immersion in the arts. As Dean of the School of Education at Hunter he achieved national recognition for path-breaking work in the video analysis and clinically-rich preparation of teachers, and a break-the-mold partnership with top-performing charter school networks. Finally, as Commissioner of Education for the State of New York, Steiner took the lead role in the state’s successful Race to the Top Application that brought some $700 million to New York State to implement – for the first time – state-wide curricula in all major subjects, a radical reform of the state standards and assessments, a complete re-design of teacher certification from a system centered on course work to a performance-based, clinically focused program, and a comprehensive program to address the state’s lowest performing schools.
Gee, what happened to his momentous Cathie Black decision?


reality-based educator said...

Please don't forget that he was one of the state education commissioners who took free first class trips for "education conferences" from Pearson.

I suspect if we dug a little more into Dr. Steiner, we would discover additional connections between Dr. Steiner and the testing companies and other reform groups who hand out graft.

Susan Ohanian said...

Last October, I wrote this letter to Dr. Steiner, who gave David Coleman a fulsome introduction ( at the notorious NY State DOE when Coleman gave his outrageous 'don't give a shit' presentation. It's April, and I'm still waiting for a reply. (At the time of the writing, Keith Gayler was Director of Standards at the Council of Chief School Officers.)
Dr. David M. Steiner
School of Education
Hunter College
695 Park Ave
NY, NY 10065

Dear Dr. Steiner,

I created somewhat of a stir at the annual meeting of the National Education Policy Center fellows when I quoted David Coleman from his presentation on April 28 at the New York State Education Department. I drew from the “When you grow up in this world you realize people don't give a shit about what you feel or what you think" part of the outrageous pedagogy he offered.

Keith Gayler was at our meeting and he told me he found Coleman’s remarks “disturbing.” I asked him if the Council of Chief State School Officers would express any concern about Coleman presenting such a pedagogy and he said they might if someone who was at the meeting expressed concern . That’s why I’m writing you. I admit that I have fundamental problems with the very idea of the Common Core, but even if one accepts the premise, I am shocked at the idea of turning over pedagogy to someone with no experience working in public schools, someone presenting model lessons which amount to a bizarre sort of New Criticism on steroids.

I think of the words you offer on the Hunter website, reminding people of Hannah Arendt’s injunction that we have to take responsibility for the stories we share with children and the knowledge that will ground their freedom. David Coleman seems intent on abolishing such stories, claiming that students learn “world knowledge” only from nonfiction. I worry that his mandates obliterates a teacher’s responsibility for choosing the pedagogical approaches which best suit the individual students in her care.

I wonder if you have any concern and, if so, would talk to Keith Gayler.