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Cathie Black Is Out! The official schadenfreude and hope thread.

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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 02:57 PM
Original message
Cathie Black Is Out! The official schadenfreude and hope thread.
Edited on Thu Apr-07-11 03:21 PM by JackRiddler
Good news is where you find it, I guess.

Following last year's DC election, when voters ran Michelle Rhee out of town, the neoliberal assault on public education has today suffered a second important personnel setback. Cathie Black must go, thanks to a mix of popular opposition and rejection by Bloomberg administration officials.

Of course the schemes of the Billionaire Boys and their federal allies will continue. They will keep pushing to privatize, charterize, rate and merit-pay, surveill and computerize, and do anything else as long as it doesn't mean hiring more teachers to reduce class size and paying them what they deserve. Or god forbid, acknowledging that maybe the neighborhoods could use some help, too.

Today's signal is that there are actually limits on the monarchical corporatist power of Prince Bloomberg to appoint his business cronies as satraps. Fact is, this brief happy moment only came about because Black worked so hard to make a fool of herself.

She was misanthropic and nasty with the public, didn't know how to camouflage the dictator style she learned as a corporate bosschief, and so painfully unqualified and ignorant of education that last week her deputies started quitting on her. No one wanted to appear in public alongside her.

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/07/cathie-bla...

Updated, 1:09 p.m. | Cathleen P. Black, a magazine executive with no educational experience who was named New York City schools chancellor last fall, stepped down Thursday, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced.

SNIP

Ms. Black’s resignation, which comes on the heels of the departures of several other high-ranking education officials, was nearly as surprising as her appointment. When Mayor Bloomberg plucked her from Hearst Magazines to run the nation’s largest public school system, people in New York and across the country — including some of the mayor’s closest aides — were stunned.

Ms. Black will be replaced by Deputy Mayor Dennis M. Walcott, who has long aided the mayor in educational matters, Mr. Bloomberg announced at the news conference, at 11:30 a.m. at City Hall.

SNIP

Ms. Black’s time as chancellor was troubled from the start. During her three months on the job, she offended parents with an offhand joke about birth control and bewildered City Hall aides when she seemed to mock a crowd of parents protesting the closing of a school. Aides complained that she required intensive tutorials on every aspect of education policy. And on Monday, a NY1-Marist poll put Ms. Black’s approval rating at 17 percent, the lowest ever for a Bloomberg administration official.


Black at the public meeting where she mocked parents protesting school closing:



Walcott at press con:


Walcott interview, light biographical questions, at least he's been involved with public schools, education and social work in various capacities his whole life:
http://schools.nyc.gov/AboutUs/SchoolNews/CitySchools/I...

Now the less encouraging news:

Different Chancellor, Same Agenda; Meet Dennis Walcott

By Azi Paybarah
April 7, 2011 | 1:42 p.m

Lee Saunders, a boisterous national labor leader, interrupted a speech he was giving in midtown this morning to read from a piece of paper handed to him by an aide.

"Cathie Black is resigning?" he said, somewhat unsure. The crowd jumped to their feet, applauding and cheering.

That's pretty much how the rest of New York City greeted the news that Mayor Bloomberg was ending the three-month tenure of Ms. Black, which was highlighted by verbal sparring with parents, repeated departures of top aides and among the worst approval rating of any New York City official ever.

Taking over for Black will be Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott, who's been with Mayor Bloomberg since the Wall Street entrepreneur first stepped inside City Hall in 2002. Before that, he was president of the Urban League (which got fund-raising help from all sorts of people, including the rap group Public Enemy).

SNIP

http://www.observer.com/2011/politics/new-chancellor-ol...



And a very bad endorsement:

Michelle Rhee on Dennis Walcott: 'Committed to Bold Reforms'

By Reid Pillifant

April 7, 2011 | 2:45 p.m

SNIP

"Through Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott's work for the last several years in the Bloomberg administration, he has proven himself committed to the bold reforms New York's schools and students deserve," Rhee said in a statement to The Observer this afternoon.

Rhee has long been a champion of Mayor Bloomberg's reform efforts, and the two enjoy such an overlap of education ideology, that there were rumors she might succeed former Chancellor Joel Klein.

Instead, Bloomberg picked Cathie Black, with Rhee issuing an optimistic statement saying Black's professional experience had "no doubt prepared her well for the challenges that lie ahead," which turned out not to be the case, as Black's brief tenure will mostly be remembered for a series of gaffes.

SNIP

"A former teacher and a product of the city's school system, he is uniquely qualified to connect with students, teachers and parents," she said. "I applaud Mayor Bloomberg's ongoing commitment to mayoral control of New York's school system and to ensuring that every child has access to great teachers and excellent schools."

http://www.observer.com/2011/politics/michelle-rhee-wal...



Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose?

.
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 03:01 PM
Response to Original message
1. Wow! Her leaving is good news. Let's just see what Walcott's appt will prove.
Edited on Thu Apr-07-11 03:03 PM by BrklynLiberal
Based on what has been going on in his third term, Bloomberg should have quit after two terms. His "legacy" might have been a bit better than it will be after this term....and he would have had a hundred million more dollars in his personal account.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. First, Bloomberg should have never been mayor, but 9/11 made him so. Second...
As Bloomberg's personal fortune has gone up by more than 10 billion dollars since he started, being mayor obviously was not a financial loss. What's $150 million to buy another election, when he gets to play Italian Prince ruling the world's most fabulous city for another four years?
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. All that effort to bend the rules down the tubes.
That's right, Tiny Fascist actually had to lobby the state legislature to allow him to appoint Black, who has no degree or even experience in education, as required by law. :nopity:
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
3. How stupid and desperate they are becomiing to gobble
up all that public funding for their own private use. If they would just act like semi-rational people, they might even get away with it.

But lately, from Wisconsin Gov. Walker to the other criminal in Florida, it's almost as if they really are desperate and are unable to wait to get their agenda in place.

Kind of makes you wonder what we DON'T know ...

These authoratian tactics are waking the people up and if I were in their shoes, and had their agenda, that's the last thing I would want to do. So something's up. They're in a big hurry for some reason to complete the elimination of all publicly run social programs. I wonder what it is?

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northernlights Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 07:31 AM
Response to Reply #3
21. that's a very good question... I think it deserves its own thread
maybe if DUers put their heads together we can figure out just what the ivory tower dwellers see coming down the pike...
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Me. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
4. Yahoo!
Bloomberg may yet be sorry he cheated himself into a 3rd term. His numbers are in the toilet, he gets booed when he gives speeches and he's receiving resistance on all his little initiatives. Love that the city council said no to making Herald's Square into another version of 42nd street.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Not sure what you mean. The best thing about Bloomberg has been...
bike lanes (not enough, but lots!) and making some pedestrian zones (of a sort). Times Square is better with fewer traffic lanes, no? What was the plan for Herald Square, I missed it?
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Me. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. We'll Have To Agree To Disagree On This
Edited on Thu Apr-07-11 04:04 PM by Me.
I loathe the change to Times Square. I think it looks badly done, second rate, and the traffic snarls it has produced on other streets are a nightmare. He wanted to close off Herald Square too but the cc said no. AAA says that his plan in Time's Square has been ineffective and rated it as a minus. As for bike lanes...while in other parts of the city they are needed and much traveled here on the upper west side. specifically Columbus, they are nothing but an obstruction and have turned the avenue into 2 lanes. It would be one thing if they were used but since the time it was put in I can count om 2 hands the number of bilkers I've seen using it. Now all the traffic is cutting up the side streets to CPW and clogging them up and at times making them impassable.

The one thing I like about Bloomberg is his million trees initiative but I really didn't like the third term business. People had voted in term limits and he gamed the system for a third and then turned around and said that in the future there should be term limits.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. For the most part, yes: We will have to disagree about the value of car traffic in New York.
Edited on Thu Apr-07-11 04:39 PM by JackRiddler
I've got no problem agreeing with this part of your statement about Times Square:

"I think it looks badly done, second rate,"

Yes, they could do much more with it than the cheap look they've managed so far. I'd close the remaining lanes to create a real public square, for a start, but I think you have a different idea.

But we're not going to agree on this:

"and the traffic snarls it has produced on other streets are a nightmare."

All Manhattan (and City) traffic has been a nightmare since the 1950s, and you can thank Robert Moses and the over-automobilization and mad sprawl of US society. There is no solution, except to scale back car use and rediscover the pleasures of having a city with public spaces. The postwar experience has been that the more roads are built, the faster they fill up, and traffic always ends up worse than ever.

New York needs to restore the era of light rail on the major thoroughfares. They could have finished rail lines on Second Avenue and several other Avenues in a few years, instead of taking almost a hundred years to build the new subway line that still isn't finished. But the subway is functional, and if you're actually driving around New York and you're not a taxi driver or moving goods, I recommend you try it.

The last thing New York needs is to find new ways to accommodate the automobilization that has turned almost all of the world's cities into noxious pestholes with no public space, no refuge on the streets. (The sidewalks of the world are about enough to make sure drivers have a paved surface to step into after they park.)

Never mind that it's not sustainable! We all know that the traffic lanes in Manhattan are just one big parking lot with all the engines running. I can't see how these new snarls due to Times Square do anything worse than dropping the average car speed in the area from 0.61 to 0.57 miles per hour.

(Some figures above may have been chosen for humorous effect. However, the Second Avenue subway has been in the works for 75 years and supposedly in construction on and off since the 1970s. Legend has it.)
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Me. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. An Adult Conversation
Most of the heavy traffic on Columbus is not car but trucks delivering goods the city needs, buses, UPS etc. We do agree on the need to address car traffic problems. And better rail service is a must. I noted that in a survey released yesterday the MTA and LIRR fared badly. In addition the MTA has cut bus routes which often leave car or subway the only options. I don't own a car as I have no desire to get up and move it every morning or pay the high cost of a permanent parking space.

As for Times Square...he said it was to attract tourists but the tourists from Europe and Asia would hardly be attracted to an area that looks like a boardwalk. Bloomberg keeps going to London and trying to adapt their system here. A unique option/plan is required, one that is strictly NY.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Well there you go, more agreement.
"A better rail service is a must."

Oh yeah.
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 03:26 PM
Response to Original message
6. What an evil woman.
I wish her nothing but everything she deserves.
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 03:30 PM
Response to Original message
8. How much taxpayer money are these fools sucking down?
They whine and get people all stirred up about what "parasites" teachers are, but I'll bet this latest boondoggle with CB was very expensive. The new guy seems a prat too.
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
10. kick
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 04:33 PM
Response to Original message
11. The Village Voice has a laugh:
Edited on Thu Apr-07-11 04:37 PM by Blue_Tires
Cathie Black, the former magazine executive turned chancellor of New York City schools, is leaving her position after only about 100 days in office. Say it ain't so, Cathie! What will we do without your hilarious gaffes? Let's hope that Mayor Bloomberg's replacement Dennis M. Walcott, the Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development, has a similar sense of humor (or whatever). As we watch Black walk through that official city door for the last time, we shed a tear and take a special look back at the great moments we shared together. Cathie Black, this is your life -- briefly -- as the schools chancellor of New York City.

You entered the scene only known to media insiders as the "First Lady of American Magazines" that sent her kids to "boarding school in Connecticut." You promised to bring more often controversial charter schools to New York City. Controversial! Iconoclastic! We loved you from the get-go!

But we soon quickly realized that you weren't the right person for the job though and within an hour of your appointment, we gave the three reasons why you shouldn't be in charge. But maybe, we thought, we should to let you take the reins for a little bit and see how things turned out.

Before you even got confirmed, people were hating on you. Bloomberg came to your defense, but no one was really buying it.

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/04/cath...


http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/04/char...

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2010/11/this...
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. Barron tells it like it is with regard to Bloomberg's instant appointment of a new chancellor.
http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/04/char...

Q. There have been a series of high profile resignations in the past few days. Had you increased pressure over Black since all these Deputy Chancellors departed?

A. We'd stayed on them. We had never let up the pressure. Those of us in the Freedom Party, and those of us unafraid to stand alone. Some critics criticized her, and the minute she was appointed and they'd beat back the lawsuits, they backed away. We kept the pressure on. The parents, you have to give a lot of credit to the parents, who got arrested. I've still got to go back to court over that on the 13th. But I think all that pressure forced Bloomberg to see her as a political liability, with their numbers going down and all of that stuff. But the sad part is that we wasted three months, where we could have had somebody very credible in there taking care of our children. We wasted so much time. And that's what really angers me. It's hard to dance it the street because they got rid of somebody so incompetent. She should have never been there.

Q. Do you think Mr. Walcott is also incompetent?

A. Dennis? I think they should just open it up to a search. Let him put his credentials in a process with others, and then let a panel that includes some city council members, educators, parents, let them come and determine who is the best chancellor for our children. I'm not one to judge his competency. He certainly may look good on paper. He's been in the system a long time, but he's been in a systems that hasn't been working. I am not here to judge him. I am angry at the Mayor, for putting us through this with Cathie and then doing it again. Dictating who the next one is going to be instead of a going through a process.

(sigh...)
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. And the other column about her "hell week" is very telling...
QUOTE:

SNIP

School parents roasted you at a schools hearing with a rap song when they found out you never attended a public school. That week, we came up with the list of reasons why people hated you, including the fact that "Donald Trump Likes You."

Eventually, you were finally confirmed to the job, albeit only along with "someone who could actually do your job." Shael Polakow-Suransky became your BFF/co-worker and the Deputy Chancellor for Performance and Accountability.

Remember January 3rd? That was your first day of school! You took a nice little tour of different schools from all five boroughs. You must have been exhausted But you had gaffes to make -- many, many gaffes to make.

You answered a question on overcrowding with a bad joke: "Could we just have some birth control for a while? It would really help us." Then you compared dealing with overcrowding to Sophie's Choice? Holocaust jokes are never a good look.

SNIP

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/04/cath...
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Guy Whitey Corngood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
12. K & R
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 09:51 AM
Response to Original message
18. One more day. For the afterglow.
Edited on Fri Apr-08-11 09:51 AM by JackRiddler
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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
19. You want some fries with your super-sized serving of crow, Mr. Mayor
Edited on Fri Apr-08-11 05:18 PM by rocktivity
and some whine to wash it down with?

:evilgrin:
rocktivity
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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 07:25 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. P.S. Say goodbye to your presidential hopes
Edited on Sat Apr-09-11 07:26 AM by rocktivity
and cue the Vonage theme!

:woohoo:
rocktivity
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Not that simple, really.
Money is money, you know?
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