Fade to Black: Bloomy Schools Pick Cathie Black Is Down for the Count

Less than 24 hours after everyone decided that a special panel to evaluate Cathie Black as schools chancellor had to be in the tank for Mayor Bloomberg, the group voted an overwhelming thumbs down for the publishing exec. So much for assumptions.

Black got just two out of eight votes on the panel that was hand-picked by state education commissioner David Steiner to help him weigh the pros and cons of giving Black a waiver of state education requirements. Four members voted a flat-out rejection, while two liked Steiner's let-the-mayor-down-easy idea of saying "not at this time."

Steiner could still decide to go with Black after all, and the pressure on him to do so is immense. Just take a look at today's Post editorial:

The old guard of the city's educational establishment -- the people who turned New York's schools into places for everything but learning -- won a big one yesterday. The biggest losers are the kids themselves -- and the city at large.

That's the voice of Joel Klein's boss-to-be talking, the Greater Murdoch Media Empire which, as the Times notes just made its first big dip into that "educational marketplace" that Klein says he wants to explore as Sir Rupert's new top edu-advisor. News Corp is buying 90 percent of a tech outfit called Wireless Generation that tracks student progress and which is a Klein favorite.

Interestingly, the happy owners of Wireless Gen declined to say exactly how they hooked up with Murdoch's team. A News Corp. spokesperson said the deal had been in the works for months and that Klein "had no involvement."


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