New York City schools chancellor Cathie Black is not starting her new job on a good note. As she steps into a position as the head of NYC public schools amidst mass opposition, she not only put her foot in her mouth, but she may have crammed a whole leg down her throat.
In a meeting in Tribeca to discuss the need for 1,000 extra seats within the next four years, Black made a joke that did not go over well, reports the Huffington Post:
“Could we just have some birth control? It would really help us out a lot.”
The joke was said at a meeting of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s school overcrowding task force, right after Eric Greenleaf, a P.S. 234 parent and New York University business professor, reported findings on overcrowding. The reports showed that lower Manhattan will need another 1,000 elementary school seats by 2015.
The former president of Hearst Magazines, Black doesn’t even possess the ability to teach in the classroom. She does not have the requisite three years of teaching experience, a master’s degree or a professional degree in educational management, and had to receive a special waiver in order to take the job. Yet as a manager, she has excelled which is why Mayor Bloomberg thinks she is the top choice, but there are many disillusioned parents out there.
Believe me, I would be the first one to agree that the publishing world is one crazy zoo, and only someone who has closed magazines at all hours of the night while watching the clock tick to deadline can fully understand, so I do see how Black may very well possess the damage control quality that our failing schools need. But I cannot fathom that she has no education experience- none!
It just seems odd. I wouldn’t trust a Pre-K teacher to edit my magazine, or a doctor to represent me in court because as smart as they may be, they don’t have the first-hand account of being in that particular field and the experience that naturally comes along with it.
By making this off the cuff remark, it looks like Black has only managed to dig herself deeper into a hole with just two full weeks on the job.
Do you think Black’s comment was out of line or an innocent joke?
Image: NY Daily News