Cathie Black Was the Exact Right Person for Schools Chancellor, Except for When She Wasn’t

By
Plan B.

Mayor Bloomberg has never really explained the thinking behind his controversial nomination of Hearst Magazines president Cathie Black as schools chancellor, preferring instead to fool no one into thinking that the publishing executive with no education experience was always his first pick for the job. As everyone suspected, she wasn’t. Bloomberg hoped to convince his friend and prominent Harlem educator Geoffrey Canada to take on the position, according to anonymous sources in the Times today. Canada’s credentials speak for themselves: The South Bronx native with a master’s from Harvard in education founded a widely lauded network of charter schools, Harlem Children’s Zone. Canada’s profile has been on the rise, too, after his appearance in the documentary Waiting for "Superman," and Bloomberg was known to sing his praises on the campaign trail and has donated $675,000 to his cause. Ah, but sometimes these things just don’t work out. The timing isn’t right. And Cathie Black is what happens when you go nominating on the rebound. [NYT]