"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bloomberg's Toadies Vote No, Sort of

The limos were idling for hours yesterday at an undisclosed Manhattan location as Bloomberg's toadies huddled in an attempt to not look like whores while giving Bloomberg's unqualified appointee for Chancellor a qualified pass.  In the end, they agreed on a plan that would hopefully save face for the educationists on the panel, while giving Bloomberg time to come up with a plan that will in the end make him look like a reasonable negotiator who knows how to cut a deal and get his way in the end.  At least that's my take.  A somewhat different take below.

From New York Magazine:

A big, rare loss for Michael Bloomberg this afternoon: The state education commissioner has conditionally rejected the mayor’s choice for city schools chancellor, Cathie Black. David Steiner may have simply been underwhelmed by Black’s publishing-industry résumé; his advisory panel, which voted against granting the necessary waiver, appears to have been embarrassed by having been portrayed in news stories as Bloomberg toadies.

Steiner is giving Bloomberg an out, however, saying he’d accept Black if she hires a top assistant who actually knows something about education. The next move is Bloomberg’s, and none of them are easy. He could elevate one of the “pedagogical experts” he says Black would have leaned on anyway — but that would essentially admit that Black is a figurehead and not the “visionary” Bloomberg had touted. He could refuse to install a No. 2 who’s a real educator and have Steiner reject Black, leaving the school system rudderless — not likely. Bloomberg could withdraw Black’s application and admit defeat — even less likely. Or Black could back out, saving some face but leaving the mayor to start over. My wagering, however, is that Bloomberg, through intermediaries, spends the next several days trying to get Steiner to change his mind or put some time limit on the Black-helper. And if Steiner doesn’t budge, Joel Klein may need to ask Rupert Murdoch for an extension on that new job.

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