What Cathie Black’s resignation means for school reform is the title of Valerie Strauss’ latest piece in the Washington Post. Black, of course, is the publisher who had zero experience with public schools when she was appointed by New York City Mayor Bloomberg as head of the New York schools a few months ago. She resigned today.
The Drucker Institute also had a short post about the departure of Cathie Black from the New York Schools. They suggested that Mayor Bloomberg might have made a better decision if he had seen a short animation the Institute created on the importance of “domain knowledge” prior to her appointment. It’s a similar position many of us have made about the importance of having experienced educators as Superintendents. The film makes some good points, though, after the recent revelation that GE didn’t pay any taxes last year, I wish it didn’t point to Jeffrey R. Immelt from GE as such a model person.
As most of this blog’s readers know, Joel Klein has become the third big-city school superintendent to resign in the past month) Michelle Rhee and the Superintendent of Chicago Schools were the two others). Klein is leaving his position as head of the New York School District.
Amazingly, Mayor Bloomberg has proposed replacing him with Cathleen Black, a publishing executive with no prior experience in education and who sends her children to private schools.
There have been an enormous number of articles and blog posts written about this — in my opinion — absurd move by the mayor. I read a lot, but even I have been intimidated by their quantity. I’ve created this “The Best…” list, though, because I believe the issue of placing people with no experience in the classroom in charge of our schools (beginning with Education Secretary Arne Duncan) is a critical one.
In this list, I’ve tried to include blog posts and articles that speak more broadly to that concern, and that are less focused on New York only (though I have included some of them for background.
Since I know I’ve missed good posts and articles, please leave them in the comments section.
Here are my picks — so far — for The Best Blog Posts & Articles About Joel Klein’s Departure & The Question Of Who Should Be Leading Our Schools:
Choosing School Chancellors the Wrong Way is a piece in Education Week by Walt Gardner.
Coincidentally, the week before Klein’s departure, I wrote a post about this very same issue — This Is A Great Explanation Of One Of My Biggest Concerns About “School Reformers.” It primarily discusses an excellent article that had appeared in Forbes and how it related to my concern about non-educators being in put in charge of schools. And, no, I’m not clairvoyant…
Dana Goldstein has written a good commentary about the situation.
Who’s Qualified to Run New York City Schools? is a forum on this question published by the New York Times.
A narcissistic approach to education reform comes from The Answer Sheet at The Washington Post.
New York Schools Chancellor Ends 8-Year Run provides some basic background on what’s going on in New York and also appeared in The Times.
Big School Problems Await New Chancellor is another Times article.
Mayor Takes Idea of Education Outsider to New Level also comes from The Times.
And The Times ran a tongue-in-cheek column titled If You Were Asked About Chancellor’s Job, Tell Us.
Interviewing the New NYC Schools Chancellor is a fun animation created by Dan Brown showing a made-up interview with Ms. Black.
The corporate takeover of American schools is an article appearing in the British Guardian newspaper, and it’s one of the best pieces on school policy that I’ve read all year. Its subtitle is “The trend for appointing CEOs to the top jobs is symptomatic of a declining commitment to public education and social justice.”
Feedback is welcome.