Less than two weeks into her new gig, Schools Chancellor Cathie Black has reportedly riled parents and public officials by cracking some jokes last week during a meeting at state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s office. When a public-school dad voiced concern about the “huge shortages” of classroom space in lower Manhattan that could be coming, Black remarked: “Could we just have some birth control for a while? It could really help us all out a lot.”
Ha! That one makes us like her a little. The act, however, didn’t stop there:
The public-service novice, who has spent her entire career in media and publishing, also dropped jaws at the meeting by likening her task of satisfying space-crunch concerns in every neighborhood to making “many Sophie’s Choices” — a reference to the book in which a mother in the Auschwitz death camp is forced to decide which of her two children will live.
Department of Education spokeswoman Natalie Ravitzm said, “[Black] takes the issue of crowded schools seriously. She regrets if she left a different impression by making an off-handed joke.” She did not suggest the next meeting simply require a two-drink minimum.