Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The Black Arts

We always appreciate wisdom from the NY Daily News editorialists-even if it is imparted rather late in the day. Here's the paper's observation of Cathie Black's maiden voyage: "She is learning fast but will be dogged for the time being by gaps in her knowledge, by a lack of surefootedness on pressing issues of the moment and by her previous closer connection to Connecticut private schools than to the city's publics."

Yah think?  But wait, is this the same gathering of wise men and women who told us about the wisdom of Bloomberg's choice of Black? As we pointed out a few weeks ago when ED Commissioner Steiner's panel threw a monkey wrench into the Black selection: "And then there's Morticia's geshrie of outrage over at the News-demanding that Steiner overrule his own panel: "Steiner apparently believes that a chancellor must have more than the high managerial talent Black has shown throughout her career. In his view, further schools credentialing - as bogus a sole criterion as you can imagine - is a must."

"As bogus a criterion as you can imagine?" Imagine that? So what to make of the walk back here by the News-where Black's lack of "surefootedness on the pressing issues," along with her Connecticut private school background, is seen as, "dogging her." But it was Morticia who, on the mayor's command, sat up and begged in a dog-like devotion to the mayor's ill-suited choice to run the schools.

What's instructive in this first editorial get together, is how Black has apparently nothing to say about anything educational-something that someone with a bogus educational background might have been eager to extrapolate on. She spent time talking about pressing managerial issues that, while pressing indeed, elide the educational issues-like the racial achievement gap-that should be paramount on any chancellor's agenda.

Perhaps when Black gets up to educational speed-in a year or two at the latest-she can return to the Daily News with her new found enlightenment. We can't wait for that Great Awakening-but neither can the city's school children who are ill-served by the mayor's parvenu.