Since being named New York City schools chancellor 100 days ago, Cathie Black has not had an easy go of it. Her appointment was delayed by naysayers, getting the whole thing off to a bad start, but it was only made worse when she actually took over, making insensitive jokes about birth control and bad references to Sophie’s Choice. She was publicly booed at a policy meeting and even got testy with the crowd. Today, the New York Times reports that her approval rating in a new poll by NY1-Marist is just 17 percent, thought 23 percent were unsure or hadn’t heard of her. Still, her popularity makes Michael Bloomberg look like Chris Christie.
In the Times, Lee Miringoff, the director behind the poll said, “It doesn’t paint a pretty picture.” And it’s not even close: “It is a long way from 50 percent, where you can at least say the city is divided about her. There’s no real core support.”
Last week, Bloomberg was hit in the polls too, but about schools specifically, not just his own approval rating, with almost two-thirds of people saying they did not support his managerial handling of local education. Whether it’s misguided scapegoating or not, the people on top are being blamed almost wholly, because 53 percent of parents in the same poll gave “excellent or good marks” to their local school.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 5, 2011