Does Cathie Black's lack of education experience really matter?
The controversy over New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's appointment of publishing executive Cathie Black to lead the city's schools rages on. This morning on Good Day New York, Public Advocate Bill De Blasio squared off with Deborah Kenny, CEO of the Harlem Village Academies (a group of charter schools, the board of which Black serves on).
De Blasio believes that there should be a public forum where concerned parents and educators can get answers from Black about her background, goals, and qualifications. Kenny says that would be like going back to the Dark Ages and that the schools chancellor job is to be a "lead teacher," but rather a "leader."
Over at Time, Eduwonk Andrew Rotherham writes that Black is as qualified as anyone to run New York City's schools—especially given the fact that it's yearly budget is higher than the GDPs of many countries.
Whether Cathie Black can transfer her considerable talent at change management to the New York City schools remains to be seen, but she's arguably as safe a bet as other leaders at that level — education insiders or not. And in such a complicated human-driven organization, no credential lessens the risk in a high-stakes leadership role.\n