Posts Tagged ‘Cathie Black’

Cathie Black-style schools CEO for Chicago?

Friday, April 8th, 2011

On the heels of news that non-educator, mega-rich Cathie Black has been shown the door after only 3 months as New York City Schools Chancellor, this item appears in the Sun-Times’ Michael Sneed gossip column:

“Sneed hears rumbles mega-rich venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, who burps money and made certain a ton had been tossed into Rahm’s election campaign, is being eyed as the city’s new school CEO.”

Rauner most likely earned his place as a CEO wanna-be by crying BOTH TIMES he saw Waiting for Superman. His wife, Diana, is on Rahm’s education transition team and is president of the Ounce of Prevention Fund. While she does have early childhood credentials, she is probably the first former investment banker to hold that position at the Ounce.

Bruce has been messing with CPS schools for a while now. He’s a member of the Board of the Renaissance Schools Fund, chairman of the Education Committee of the Civic Committee, a major contributor to the Academy of Urban Schools Leadership, chair of the ACT Charter High School board of directors -AND he has his own charter school, the Rauner College Prep Charter High School.

Greg Hinz reported in Crain’s last year about this scheme of Rauner’s:

to sell empty and near-empty academic buildings to a privately capitalized venture fund that he and perhaps some other well-connected types like the Gates Foundation would put together. Those same buildings then would be leased to charter schools….

So, I think we have a pretty good idea of what he’ll do as CPS CEO. But, the Cathie Black model of district leadership seems to be coming apart at the seams these days.

NYC parents happy – NOLA parents sad

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

It’s a mixed news day for parents. children and schools.

New York City parents are celebrating the resignation of Schools Chancellor Cathie Black and her Deputy, John White. Black, who served less than 100 days, was a bizarre appointment by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who, like Chicago’s mayor, runs the schools. Black’s previous experience was in the publishing world (Hearst Publications, USA Today); she needed a waiver of all education requirements from the state legislature to become chancellor. (Of course, our legislature waived any and all CPS CEOs from such requirements in 1995.)

Black almost immediately alienated NYC parents when she suggested “birth control” as a remedy for overcrowded classrooms. Things went downhill from there.

White’s resume is not much more impressive than Black’s. But… New York’s gain is New Orleans’ loss. White is headed to The Big Easy to replace outgoing (and, from what I hear, already out-gone) Paul Vallas, who has set his sights on Chile next. apparently sparing Haiti, which had originally been in the path of Hurricane Paul. NOLA parents won’t miss Vallas, but aren’t pleased that his replacement was responsible for school closings and expanding charter schools in NYC. This doesn’t bode well for the two-tiered school system in New Orleans, where massive charter expansion is already destroying the neighborhood school system.

We congratulate NYC parents on their successful challenge of one bad school district leader – let’s hope that other mayors (or mayors-elect) are paying attention!

Support PURE!
About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.