Here’s the president of the United Federation of Teachers last week, when New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that he had selected publishing maven Cathie Black to run the city’s schools:
I look forward to working with Ms. Black. As a teacher, I will help in any way I can to improve the education for the children of New York."
And here he is this morning, quoted in the New York Daily News:
I do not believe that anyone thought the mayor would speak to no one, hide it, keep it a secret, not consult any educational experts and then name someone with no qualifications to be the chancellor of the New York City school system. ... I would be appalled if a teacher was named the head of the Fire Department of New York City."
You’ve got to give the UFT and Michael Mulgrew credit for keeping us all on our toes, by following a bland, uninformative press release up with a two-guns-blazing speech.
The Daily News article goes on to state that UFT thinks Bloomberg abused his power in appointing Black. A bunch of groups, the UFT probably among them, will likely challenge Black’s succession. She needs a waiver from state Commissioner of Education David Steiner in order to assume the top position at Tweed Hall.
Mulgrew says that his ire is directed at the mayor and not at Black. But this can hardly be the beginning of an easy relationship.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.