A day after Cathie Black received a waiver from the state education commissioner so she could take the top job in the New York City public school system, a small group of Green Party members responded by staging a protest at her old place of employment, Hearst Corporation headquarters in Midtown Manhattan. Five of them walked through the glass doors to apply for Black's job as chairwoman of the publishing giant.
Gloria Mattera, a public school parent and former Green Party candidate for lieutenant governor said that she knew she went in without the necessary prerequisites for the job.
"You will see if you review my resume that I am absolutely unqualified to run a publishing company, which is exactly what Cathie Black is to run the NYC Public School system."
Also in the group was retired teacher Betty Davis. She said Bloomberg's pick of Cathie Black amounted to an outrageous double standard. Davis recalled how in the nineteen sixties it was difficult for African Americans to get hired for administrative positions at the city's public schools, because they were told they didn't have enough qualifications. "Now here we are and it's 2010, and they've changed the game again. They're saying we waive qualifications," Davis said.
Another retired public school teacher, Tom Siracuse, who is also the co-chair of the Manhattan Green Party, drew laughs when he told a crowd of reporters he was brushing up on the publishing business by reading a book, in preparation for doing Black's job.
Retired public school teacher Tom Siracuse is applying for Cathie Black's job at the Hearst Corporation.
The group of five protesters ended up getting stopped by the director of security at Hearst, with whom they left their resumes. Meanwhile, Black herself spent the morning touring a public school in the Bronx. She starts her new job as chancellor on January 3.