Will Cathie Black Get Hired to Head NYC School System?

Cathie Black may or may not be hired to head the New York City school system. This former head of Hearst media operations needs a waiver to nail down becoming Chancellor.

That waiver would allow her to bypass the usual requirements, including educational ones, for the job. One has to wonder if the negative press, petitions against her appointment, and poll numbers which show that the public is 50-50 about this, will have any impact on the decision to grant or not grant that waiver. Is screening for these kinds of appointments - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg nominated Black - done via the influence of public opinion?

The decision on the waiver is in the hands of New York education commissioner David Steiner. Steiner has round up a blue-ribbon panel as the deciders. They range from the heads of Baltimore and Rochester school systems to the president of Columbia Teacher's College.

Black, like most professionals who have risen high and reached the age of 66, carries baggage. The biggest negative may be that Bloomberg, who is viewed by too many as a high-handed mayor, chose her. In addition, she has no hands-on experience in public education. Her children went to private schools. Also she is perceived as a wealthy member of the establishment. Her age could also be on the radar screen.

Clearly, this will be an interesting one to watch - both in terms of Black's and Bloomberg's current influence and power in New York.

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