Suing to Stop Cathie Black

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Read a recap of this conversation at It's A Free Country.

Eric J. Snyder, attorney and NYC public school parent, talks about his lawsuit to block the appointment of Cathie Black.


Eric J. Snyder

Comments [22]

Janice from Brooklyn

Thank you, Mr. Snyder, for having the courage to bring this case forward. The NYC Education Department is not a business in need of a business executive. Run as a business, the push for more standardized testing strengthens: tests are an easy 'best practice' for measuring efficiency. But the most important outcome from NYC schools is educational success. This may include critical, analytical, creative and innovative thinking that tests fail to measure. We need a schools chancellor who understands how children learn and how we can motivate them to want to learn. High stakes testings will indeed leave more lower income kids without diplomas. This will be clearer as the new Regents exam requirements for graduation kick in. Education leadership, rather than business management expertise, is needed at the top. (Maybe Ms. Black should be hired as a CAO under the chancellor.) Bravo to Snyder for making that connection clear!

Dec. 08 2010 10:27 PM
Moyra from NYC

to expand: Duncan spoke about the quality of ed in other countries, but Duncan is also perceived as someone who favors the privatization of public education; we know little about those relations, federal versus state levels;it is little discussed in the media; Thank you David for putting C Black appt in the context of the effort to privatize the school system. Strong insight to the problem.

Dec. 08 2010 01:32 PM
Moyra from NYC

It is normal and desirable to compare our public education with other similar countries and the world; We need to learn positive experiences from other nations alike they learn from us. Don't we want to better our public education? Our Secretary of Education A. Duncan had a lot to say on pbs last night.

Dec. 08 2010 12:05 PM
David - Hastings on Hudson from Hastings on Hudson

Perhaps in the past it would have been legitimate to discuss the management of the NYC school system as a discreet set of organizational problems, but in the current climate, it is disingenuous to presume to ignore the larger context of national education policy and the movement towards privatization. This has little or nothing to do with Cathy Black and everthing to do with the policies that she is being hired to implement. Just how little she may understand about education, going in, seems as irrelevant as her lack of more official qualifications of degrees or experience.

Equally unseamly is the suggestion that Mr. Snyder is being self serving in his petition, or that he is a fringe element. Read Diane Ravitch & Debbie Meier at , or Valerie Strauss at for some heroic efforts at countering the media steamroller of Mr. Gates and associates.

Dec. 08 2010 11:57 AM

Please stop comparing US schools to the rest of the world.



Dec. 08 2010 11:41 AM
Parent from NYC

The schools are not the businesses, certainly not a setting of a second class magazines alike USA Today ... yes there were many problems with teachers in public schools;
did BB improve and eliminate these problems? The appt of C Black gives no guarantee that it will bring the critical value to our public schools; many people do not know why she is there at first place; because she has business skills? no one else has the combination of skills? why parents and educators are not being heard? Mayor simply eliminated the voice of parents; he knows the best, isn't it?
public schools struggle to provide quality education, a lot is left to the principal but a lot depends on the Board of Ed as well;
C Black is not the fit; her heart is not in the public service, she will always look at the Board of Ed as corporation and her board room. Any woman to remain powerful and successful in business and in any other professional settings, has to have a powerful backing; C Black always had a powerful backing to this day

Dec. 08 2010 11:26 AM
Marc Naroshkhyn from Brooklyn

Responding to Taher from Croton on Hudson:

The quality of American education, as measured by comparative testing, has been in a state of free-fall for better than three decades -- long before "our corporate masters" were ever nominated to run public schools systems. How do you explain that?

Dec. 08 2010 11:18 AM

Judging from Ms. Black's recent comments no wonder they kept her under wraps. Business expertise alone will not be a magic wand for dealing the NYC public schools.

Dec. 08 2010 11:15 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

greg from NYC, thanks for supporting our corporate masters that run America. Let’s see how well our students do against Chinese students who were recently tested . The Chinese students did very well.

Dec. 08 2010 11:03 AM
Marc Naroshkhyn from Brooklyn

Yeah, we don't need no buzinessman as the boss of the school. We should be reinkarnate Frank Macchiarrola: he did a real bang-up job. Students got a great edumakashun during his watch.

For more years than I can count, NYC's schools were run as a UFT satrapy. There's been no accountability. There's been no professionalism, among faculty or administrators. I attended four public schools over twelve years. I've seen teachers embezzle monies from student funds. I've seen administrators engage in improper conduct with students. I've seen teachers drunk at 10 in the morning. I've seen teachers suffer nervous breakdowns in front of their classes. I've seen teacher raise funds for the Communist Party on school property, during school time. I once saw a teacher threaten a student with a box cutter. The ONLY teacher or administrator I have ever known to be terminated for cause without first being convicted of a felony was one who edited the NAMBLA newsletter. Whether Cathy Black will prove to be a fit chancellor I cannot know in advance, but given the recent history of NYC's public schools, I am compelled to believe that she can do no worse than most of her predecessors -- and the only reason that she's being so opposed now is because the UFT fears the imposition of accountability and professional standards more than death itself.

Employers are either fleeing NYC, or they're deliberately hiring personnel not educated in NYC's public schools. If we want a vibrant -- or even a viable city in the future, then we must not return to the public schools' governance of eras past. That would be tantamount to civic suicide.

Dec. 08 2010 10:55 AM
Ken from Little Neck

I congratulate Mr. Snyder for his efforts. While I don't believe he will be successful in preventing Ms. Black from becoming chancellor, voices like his need to be heard. I think if we had more parents like him who were willing to get involved in the education of their children, the school system would be much better off, regardless of what the mayor does with it.

Dec. 08 2010 10:43 AM
Rose from Brooklyn

We spend so much time debating to test or not to test. We should be spending more time in restructuring the teaching format.

Why doesn't the Mayor consider providing low income kids the same type of learning that "privilege" kids receive? The differences are criminal.

Then we can talk about testing.

Dec. 08 2010 10:43 AM
RCT from NYC

And as an attorney, I support Mr. Snyder. If that's what the statute says, then he wins.

Dec. 08 2010 10:43 AM
RCT from NYC

"Let's go forward" -- with the guest's law suit. It's not your boardroom, Cathie. You don't get the last word.

Dec. 08 2010 10:42 AM
CC from Manhattan

The DOE suffers from too little management; prinicipals with no management experience are shooting our kids in the foot.
Hurrah - happy to know that Cathie Black will be at the helm!

former PTA President and SLT member

Dec. 08 2010 10:41 AM
John from office

Greg, as a lawyer, I agree!!

Mr. Synder, you kids will always do well on test, the poor and brown, will not and must be cared for by the schools.

Dec. 08 2010 10:40 AM

This shows how bogus rich people are. She claimed she gets everything by working hard, yet she wants to skip all these hard requirements she can't meet. You're such a hardworking richguy? Go get a master in education and put in your work time like a "lazy" poor person would have to. But no the rich don't need to work hard since .... they work hard? What a sham, as usual.

Dec. 08 2010 10:38 AM
john from office

The choice of Ms. Black, Mr. Klein and Bloomberg as Mayor was for the children, specifically the black and latino children who are underserved by the schools. Mr. Snyder's children will always have an advantage,. The old system was a mess.

Dec. 08 2010 10:38 AM
greg from NYC

this is why most folks think lawyers are the LOWEST form of human existence...
hope that a university gives ms Black an honorary PHD and then this loser can move back to chasing ambulances again...

Dec. 08 2010 10:37 AM
M Petrov from NYC

Brian, thank you for inviting Mr Snyder to the show. I fully support Mr Snyder. Our council representatives should look into changing the legislature and not allow the Mayor to have a complete control of public education in the City. The legislature to grant the Mayor complete control over the public schools in the City, did it really make sense? The results and the current situation in our school system show the results. It is ironic to have these highly privileged people and billionaires decide the faith of million students and their families. We need a complete reform and change in decision making involving public school education. This time around the Mayor is just an extended hand of Wall Street fortune maker(s) into our common lives. it is not good.

Dec. 08 2010 10:35 AM

what did the people think they'd get when they voted in the billionaire businessman?

Dec. 08 2010 10:33 AM
David from Queens

Cathie Black will run the School System just like her friends have ran some of the largest US companies - Lehman Brothers,World Com, Washington Mutual... Business people and moneymakers don't have innate skills to be good educators or education administrators. They have to acquire these educational skills through rigorous training and classroom experience.

Dec. 08 2010 10:30 AM

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