The following blog is by “Jude Soto,” who will occasionally be contributing pieces on educational policy and politics in New York. Jude Soto has been a teacher in a low-income public high school in New York City since 2004. A native New Yorker, Soto has an M.A. in history from Brooklyn College. Outside of the academic world, his pursuits include traveling, weightlifting, and long distance running.
On Tuesday, New York City school teachers traded the devil they know for the devil they don’t. In a move that made me and my colleagues get up and dance, Joel Klein resigned as New York City’s schools chief to take up a position as an executive vice president of News Corp. A minute later, in a move that made me and my colleagues sit back down and sulk, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced that another businessperson with no education or classroom experience, Cathie Black, will be the new chancellor. Once again, dollars, not children, motivated Bloomberg’s decision.
Cathie Black is about as qualified to lead city public schools as Jared, the Subway guy. In what almost seems to be a requirement under the Bloomberg administration, the millionaire magazine publisher never taught a day in her life. Personally, though, I happily await Mrs. Black’s tenure. I look forward to reading rhetoric in the newspaper about how my coworkers and I are lazy, drains on society, from someone who made sure USA Today was published on time. I am looking forward to contract negotiations and listening to an elitist, whose children by the way attended pricey Connecticut boarding schools, claim that my salary is too high. I am also looking forward to seeing how blind New Yorkers can be to think that it’s anything other than cronyism and union busting that motivated Bloomberg’s decision.