Saturday, November 13, 2010
Even The New York Daily News Finds Chancellor-Elect Cathie Black Unqualified. How Come Our Union Leadership Doesn't?
Mayor Michael Bloomberg picked one of his rich and powerful friends to become the next Chancellor of the New York City Schools. The nominee is magazine CEO Cathie Black who had no educational experience and who's children went to a ritzy private school. Further, she admits that she is clueless on how the New York City Pubic Schools work. Even the Mayor's usual media mouthpieces, the New York Daily News and the New York Times questioned her lack of qualifications. Most disturbing was the lack of any competition for the job. It appears that she was selected because she was in the Mayor4Life's inner circle of friends. Of course the New York Post didn't see why the Chancellor needs to have educational qualifications. Now it is up to the State to grant a waiver for the unqualified Cathie Black to become the next Chancellor of the New York City Public Schools.
You would expect that our union would take the lead as opposition started to question this selection of an unqualified person to be Chancellor. This was the time for the powerful UFT to take a stand and write a letter to State Commissioner Stiener to deny a waiver for the Chancellor-elect. Shockingly, I could not believe my eyes when the UFT President, Michael (don't call me Mike) Mulgrew stated the following:
“When I met her, I thought she was very nice and I’m looking forward to working with her,” Mulgrew said. “When someone is new you have to be optimistic. You can’t go in with any preconceived notions and that’s the only way I am going into this.”.
Instead of leading the opposition our UFT leadership is actually welcoming the unqualified Chancellor-elect. Just unbelievable!. Now the opposition is being lead by real education reformers and politicians like Tony Avella, and even the head of the City Council's education committee, Robert Jackson, have expressed their displeasure with her and set up online petitions to express there disgust of Cathie Black's lack of educational qualifications and deny her the waiver she need sto be Chancellor. If there is one silver lining in this is the mass resignation of many of Joel Klein's top aids at Tweed Here. Moreover, look for others to follow.
Our union should be taking the lead in opposition of the unqualified Chancellor-elect, not welcoming her.