In what could not have been shocking to anybody who understands what is going on at the New York City Public Schools, Cathie Black's approval rating was 17%!. Actually I was somewhat surprised that her approval rating was even that high since she has taken over the reins at Tweed she has made herself a non-entity and irrelevant. Cathie Black is not allowed to make policy decisions and rarely grants interviews, only carefully planned photo ops. Even the New York Post's usually Tweed-friendly Michael Goodwin has questioned her ability to lead the New York City Schools.
Most disturbingly to her few defenders, is that Cathie Black has even lower approval ratings with mothers who send their children to the New York City Public Schools, an astonishingly low 13%!. I am sure it does not help that Mayor Bloomberg's approval rating is only 28% with parents who have children in the schools. However, in Cathie Black's tenure she has not made one positive change that would bring confidence and support in her continuing as Chancellor. In fact she is now saddled with various negatives, some of her own making, that has resulted in increased calls for her removal as Chancellor. Let's look at these negatives.
- No experience in the New York City Public School System. She went to a private school and her children to boarding school.
- Lack's educational credentials and needed a State waiver and conditions to be allowed to become Chancellor.
- Her gaffes she makes like "birth control" to reduce classroom overcrowding. "Sophie's choice" to determine where to cut the budget. As well as mocking parents, students, and teachers who showed up at the PEP with chants.
- The ill-advised policy of demanding (not asking) principals to return 50% ( now 30%) of the money they intend to rollover to next school year to protect jobs for staff, then fails to specify where the returned money will be spent on.
- Her staff pushing parent coordinators to sign up parents to lobby for the end of LIFO which is a violation of the "no politics' mission of the office and an apparent violation of Civil Service Law.
Instead of reducing Administrative costs as the Governor wants, Tweed under Cathie Black is proposing an ever-increasing bureaucracy and associated service providers at the expense of the public school students in the schools. Of course, this is not Cathie Black's doing but Mayor Bloomberg's campaign to get rid of senior teachers no matter how it hurts the children.
Unpopular with the public, unqualified to be Chancellor, Bloomberg's puppet, and downright bad for the classroom, that is how I characterized Cathie Black.