Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mike Bloomberg Says Crow Tastes Like Chicken ; Schools Chancellor Deal is an ''Illusion of Concession''

David Steiner first opposed the Cathleen Black nomination, and Mr. Steiner made Mayor Bloomberg eat some crow. Nonplussed, Mayor Bloomberg said, ''Tastes like chicken.''

Mayor Michael Bloomberg reached a face-saving deal to rescue his tottering nomination of Cathleen Black to become the next New York City Schools Chancellor. In reaching his compromise, Mayor Bloomberg has agreed to appoint a career educator to serve as Ms. Black's second in command.

The New York Daily News is calling the Bloomberg-Black-Steiner deal an ''illusion of a concession.''

Ms. Black's new underling, who will hold the title of chief academic officer, is more qualified than Ms. Black herself, not only to overcome the judgment by the state education commission that Ms. Black lacks any qualification to be the next schools chancellor. But even The New York Times has reported that the duties of Ms. Black's new chief academic officer are actually the duties of the school chancellor. Who's your manager ?

From The Times report :

After several days of talks with state officials, Mr. Bloomberg agreed to create the position of chief academic officer to oversee curriculum and testing at the city’s Department of Education. Under the deal, that job would go to Shael Polakow-Suransky, a former principal of a Bronx high school who is a top official at the city’s Department of Education.

But exactly how much authority Mr. Polakow-Suransky, 38, will wield is unclear. A job description prepared by the city said he would have “the broadest scope for the exercise of independent initiative and judgment” and listed 25 duties, including many that would normally fall to the head of a school system. But Mr. Polakow-Suransky will still report to Ms. Black, who is accustomed to setting the agenda in the rough-and-tumble world of corporate culture.

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