Cathie Black is Coming, But Only With Someone Who Can Actually Do Her Job


Cathie Black, Mayor Bloomberg’s choice to become New York City’s Schools Chancellor, was in danger this week of having quit her job as the president of Hearst Magazines for nothing. A wave of discontent engulfed her nomination, including a “thumbs down” by the panel meant to approve her. (Even the New York Times thinks she’s a joke of a choice to run NYC’s schools.) But today she’s back on track to get the job on the condition that her deputy actually know something about education. Enter Shael Polakow-Suransky.

The New York Post reports today that Polakow-Suransky, the founding principal of Bronx International High School and a well-reputed local progressive educator, will serve as Deputy Chancellor for Performance and Accountability. It’s a wonder Dick Cheney didn’t pull for the same title.

So, as it stands, Black is allowed to do the job with the help of someone who knows how to do the job:

Mayor Bloomberg made it clear he supported the compromise in a new waiver request he submitted for Black yesterday that detailed her intention to appoint Polakow-Suransky her “senior deputy chancellor and chief academic officer.”

The letter says that as instructional guru, Polakow-Suransky would be directly supervised by Black — but with “the broadest scope for the exercise of independent initiative and judgment.”

Patience. What he’ll need is patience.

Deputy named in deal to allow Cathie Black to become schools chancellor [NYP via Daily Intel]