WASHINGTON, D.C. — In his brief press availability this afternoon, I asked Mayor Bloomberg about the criticism of his appointment of Cathie Black as chancellor of the city’s schools.
“I don’t see it as any criticism. I think some people don’t understand what the job is all about,” the mayor said. “This is a management job and we need somebody who has real management experience. We have a cadre of people who are education experts and they can provide her with all the advice, that’s not what the job is about.”
The mayor declined to say whether that list of people who don’t understand the job includes the City Council’s education chairman, Robert Jackson–who has written a letter opposing Black’s waiver.
“I’m not here to criticize anybody else,” he said. “This is what the president and Arne Duncan want us to do–to keep improving the school system the way we’ve been doing it. Cathie Black is the person who will take us through the next three years.”
Then he made a baseball analogy.
“Joel Klein did a masterful job. That’s seven innings of pitching and now we need a closer to come in for three inn–,” before giving up on baseball. “And this city is so lucky to have Cathie Black willing to walk away from everything else and devote her life.”
Bloomberg called it a “20 hour a day, 7 days a week job” that is “always in the spotlight.”
“There are very few people who have the chutzpah and who have the dedication and who care enough about America and our kids. And I’m just thrilled that Cathie is willing to do it and she’ll be the next chancellor,” he said.