Thursday, December 2, 2010

Is Cathie a Klingon? NY Ed Press Corps Getting Restless Over Black Cloaking Device

South Bronx Teacher:
(Ok, Photoshoppers, we need Unchattie Kathie the Klingon- you have license to spell her name with a "k")

Don't forget to wear red today and if you can show up at Tweed at 4pm. Ed Notes will be there covering.

Rise Up Red, New York - Protest Cathie Black Thusday at Tweed, 4pm

Ed Notes is still the first news service to get an interview with Cathie Black. (Ed Notes Exclusive: First Cathie Black Interview -...) though NYC Educator has some good stuff (The Chancellor and Her Guide)

Lots of "Where's Cathie?" stuff out. Maybe she is out there but has been dressing down as pointed out by South Bronx Teacher.

Leonie Haimson says:
Guess that they didn’t like her having to respond to real parents, like Nicole Bush, yesterday, who had actual questions for her. They seem to want to keep her completely wrapped up in a bubble, protected from the public…..weird when she’s supposed to have such great ‘people skills” you’d think they’d want her out there.

Steve Koss writes on the NYCEdNews Listserve:
Lindsey Christ did a fairly sharp-tongued report on Ms. Black's "hiding" early this afternoon. She also noted that NY1 and other (unnamed) news organizations were submitting a letter to the DOE requesting that Ms. Black's itinerary be made public every day. Kudos to Lindsey for not backing down, even on camera.

The longer this "hiding" and non-communicating goes on, the more Ms. Black reminds me of Sarah Palin, only "You betcha!" has been replaced by "Great!", as in "I feel great!" and "It was great!" Sheesh! Maybe the book Ms. Black read to kids on today's mystery school visit should be "Where's Waldo?"

DOE Continues To Be Secretive About New Chancellor's Whereabouts
By: Lindsey Christ
It's been more than three weeks since Mayor Michael Bloomberg introduced Cathie Black as his next schools chancellor, but now that she's officially cleared for the job, the Department of Education is being very secretive about her whereabouts.
The Department of Education won't tell NY1 where Black is today. They admit she is visiting a school, but will not say which of the 1,500 city schools they chose to show off to the new chancellor.
Yesterday, she was in the Bronx at P.S. 109, but reporters were not allowed inside. In the past, most new chancellors have been very public with their schedules, and with Cathie Black, the question of which schools she visits and who she meets with has taken on particular significance, since she's had such limited exposure to public schools in the past.
In fact, today might be only the fourth time ever that she's been in a city public school.
She spoke briefly with reporters yesterday, but wouldn't talk about policy and said she didn't want to talk about her lack of education experience. But she did say she wanted to be open, available and in the schools.
“We’ll keep moving around the boroughs and we’ll move from lower school to middle school to high school and it’s going to take a bit of time, but that’s where I want to be,” she said.
When the DOE was asked why they are being so secret with her schedule, a spokeswoman said,
“Today's visits are private. Part of being chancellor is visiting schools and talking with principals, teachers and parents openly and candidly about what is happening in their school community. Having TV cameras and reporters over your shoulder is often not conducive to such an open exchange. So there will be public visits and private visits.”

But reporters and TV cameras weren't allowed to yesterday either – having to wait outside while she toured the school with a group of officials.
It's unclear when her first truly-public visit will take place.
NY1 has joined with other city news organizations to write the city, arguing that Black’s schedule should be public.

RBE at Perdido: Cathie Blacks Says Stupid Shit Already
NY1 reports Cathie Black responded to parents' concerns about her tenure as chancellor with the following statement:
"I feel fantastic," said Black in the Upper East Side. "I just went to a couple of parties and people said, "How wonderful. Thank you for doing this for the city.' And I feel great."
Omigod, Cathie, you went to some parties on the Upper East Side and people wearing big white Barbara Bush pearls with cucumber martinis in their hands and hedge fund managers in their families thanked you for helping to educate the children of "those" people!

How exciting!

Good grief, I can't decide if Cathie Black is Harriet Miers or Marsha Brady from that statement.

Seriously that might be the dumbest thing I have heard from a person in public in the last five years who didn't have the name Sarah Palin written on her name tag.

I do know one thing for certain after one day of Chancellor Cathie with an "i" Black - she says really, really stupid stuff.

Schools chief back in hiding?

By Glenn Blain
After keeping the mayor’s new pick for schools chancellor under wraps for three weeks, the Education Department is now keeping her visits to schools a secret, reports the Daily News' Rachel Monahan and Meredith Kolodner.
Cathie Black made her first public foray into a public school on Tuesday, but stopped only briefly to chat with reporters. She brushed off questions about school policy - such as how to deal with schools slated to close. Reporters were barred from touring the school with Black. And the Education Department has refused to allow any interviews with the new chancellor.
Reporters have repeatedly requested to know where Black will be, to no avail. This is in contrast to outgoing schools chancellor Joel Klein, whose visits to schools were public when he took the job in 2002.
Here is the Education Department's response to repeated requests for access to Black while she visits schools.
“Part of being chancellor is visiting schools and talking with principals, teachers and parents openly and candidly about what is happening in their school community," press secretary Natalie Ravitz said. "Having TV cameras and reporters there is often not conducive to such an open and honest exchange. So there will be public visits and private visits."
It's hard to say how "candid" a principal might be in front of her brand new boss, who has the power to hire and fire principals, as well as close down schools, especially with Black's p.r. team in tow.
The media executive has been the center of front-page headlines for weeks on end, with parent public opinion against her because of her lack of experience in education.
Parents, as well as reporters, have plenty of questions: What schools is she visiting? What does she think of them? Is she going to the ones deemed "failing," or just the A-rated ones? What's her opinion on budget cuts?
No one outside of her closest advisors actually knows. The parents of 1.1 million school children, whose future she holds in her hands, are still waiting to find out.

And we'll close with Sharon Otterman at the NY Times, which has really been doing great work in the Black story.

December 1, 2010, 12:09 pm

If You’ve Seen Cathie, Let Us Know

Cathleen P. Black
Updated, 12:11 p.m. | Where in the World is Cathie Black?
The new schools chancellor, Cathleen P. Black, told reporters on Tuesday that she would visit elementary, middle and high schools in every borough as she gets to know the nation’s largest public school system. The Department of Education acknowledged that she is on at least one school visit on Wednesday, but would not reveal where it is.
“Today’s visits are private,” said Natalie Ravitz, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education.
The New York Times and other city news organizations are requesting that Ms. Black’s daily school-visit schedule be made public, arguing that the visits are newsworthy because Ms. Black has had limited exposure to public schools and the visits will form the backbone of her knowledge of the school system.
Even if the reporters pledge to wait outside the school during the visit, as occurred during Ms. Black’s first-day visit, that is insufficient, Ms. Ravitz said.
“Part of being chancellor is visiting schools and talking with principals, teachers and parents openly and candidly about what is happening in their school community,” Ms. Ravitz said. “Having TV cameras and reporters over your shoulder is often not conducive to such an open exchange.”
Ms. Black has not been made available for any formal interviews with news organizations since her selection three weeks ago. As The Times has reported, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s process in selecting her was so secretive that even some of his senior advisers did not participate.
So City Room is asking readers: Should even some of Ms. Black’s public school visits be secret? Which schools should she visit? And have you seen Cathie Black today?
Update: Ms. Ravitz just said that she will reveal the identities of the schools Ms. Black visited on Wednesday at the end of the day. Extra credit for correct guesses.

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