Last week, State Education Commissioner David Steiner conditionally rejected Mayor Bloomberg’s pick for city schools chancellor, Cathie Black, the president of Hearst Magazines since 1995, though he said he’d accept Black if she hires a top assistant with more experience in education. Black took that option: Today, the Post reports that city and state officials struck a deal, allowing Black to become the city’s next schools chancellor with progressive local educator and founding principal of Bronx International High School Shael Polakow-Suransky in the newly made up position of “Deputy Chancellor for Performance and Accountability.” The performance and accountability of his own boss, that is.
Mayor Bloomberg supports the compromise, submitting a new waiver for Black yesterday that now details her intention to appoint Polakow-Suransky her senior deputy. So who’s supervising whom here? “The letter says that as instructional guru, Polakow-Suransky would be directly supervised by Black — but with ‘the broadest scope for the exercise of independent initiative and judgment.’” In any case, “Steiner is likely to move quickly in approving the waiver,” and this should be a fun boss-employee relationship for the two of them.