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John Petro

New York City’s New Schools Chancellor

The day after securing a waiver from the state that would allow her to become New York City's next schools chancellor, Cathie Black posed for the cameras outside of P.S. 109 in the Bronx.

"The mayor has said right from the beginning, in our first conversation, 'What I need is a very experienced manager who is used to complex organizations, who is a decision maker and is a very good people person.' And he chose me."

I have to wonder how well Black will be able to relate to the parents of New York City school children, especially those from low-income communities. Here is a woman that owns a $4 million beach home in the Hamptons, on top of her Upper East Side penthouse and her recently sold $1.9 million Connecticut home. Will she really be able to understand the pressures and challenges that face these communities?

Ms. Black grew up sheltered and privileged, in a middle-class Irish enclave of Chicago at midcentury, attending Catholic schools and riding horses at a country club where blacks and Jews were excluded.

We will see.

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Posted at 12:14 PM, Nov 30, 2010 in Urban Affairs
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