Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Miss Eyre Does Not Get Cathie Black

Well, GothamSchools beat me to it, but I'd still like to say something about New York's surprisingly good profile of Chancellor Black. I get a mysterious print subscription to New York; I cannot, for the life of me, remember purchasing or otherwise opting in to receive the magazine, and yet it comes to my house every week. (Actually, two copies come to my house every week, because, again mysteriously, Mr. Eyre also gets a copy in his own name.) Whatever. So I read it.

Anyway, I enjoyed the profile of Ms. Black very much, if only to have confirmed by a real reporter what I've been feeling for the last couple of months; namely, what is up with Cathie Black? The New York reporter, public school parent Chris Smith, doesn't seem to get it either. The woman has been on the job now for, unofficially, two months, and I still have no insight into why she wanted the job or believes she can do it well. Again, as always, I truly don't want to cast aspersions on her character so much as I really, sincerely don't get it. Don't get her, I guess.

The reporter seems similarly flummoxed by her success in publishing, though he more or less takes it at face value. And, okay, I can get that. Clearly she rose very high in that field, which is fine and all that. But Mr. Smith also points out that Ms. Black seemed genuinely shocked by how very different the demands on a public servant are from her old position. And a former colleague of Black's confirms what many of us in the blogosphere suspected: Ms. Black never faced real, angry, one-on-one, in-person opposition in her old job, maybe never in her life for all we know.

Lack of experience is understandable. But lack of humility and lack of growth are not. And if Ms. Black would just come out and say why, other than that "I'm a good manager" prattle, she wants to lead a school system and deeply believes she is the right person for the job, that would go a long way towards fostering a tiny shred of goodwill--because right now, as she at least seems to have enough insight to understand this much, there's not a whole lot out there for her.

blog comments powered by Disqus