Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rhee for Chancellor!

According to Norm, the UFT has wussied out on a resolution to urge David Steiner to refuse to grant a waiver to Cathie Black. Apparently, the Unity people have been whispering the R word in an effort to get people to fall in line, as in "Yes, Cathie Black may have no experience in education other than teaching couples potentially back-wrenching sex positions, but at least she's know...the R word!"

What they mean, of course, it that as bad as Black may be, at least she's not Michelle Rhee. The thinking is that Rhee is the worst person possible for the job. I humbly disagree. I think that Rhee would be the best person possible for the job, and I urge Mayor4Life Bloomberg to reconsider the Black nomination and immediately recommend Rhee for chancellor of the NYC public schools.

And no, I'm not crazy. Does anyone believe, even for a minute, that Black was chosen because she'd be better for teachers than Rhee? In his application for a waiver for Ms. Black, Bloomberg comes right out and says that one of her scant qualifications for the job is her known ability to fire people left and right and layoff entire departments to save money. Isn't that where this is headed?

And Black is a fresh face. She looks about 100 times friendlier than Klein or Rhee. In other words, she could fires scads of teachers with a big smile on her face, and the local press would eat her up.

Rhee, on the other hand, is damaged goods, despite her ill-gotten celebrity. She's already been voted out of office by proxy from her DC job. She'd be as divisive and disliked here as she was in DC. And that's why I want her for chancellor.
Think about it. She might be the only person who could unify the UFT membership. She'd walk into town with her broom and apathetic teachers might finally decide to wake up and fight against the reform movement. Even Mulgrew and his cronies might decide that they needed to mix it up a bit with Rhee as chancellor. But can you even picture Mulgrew saying a mean word about Cathie Black, even as she sticks the layoff knife in our backs?

So, far from being afraid of Rhee should Black's waiver be denied, we should be clamoring for Rhee to take the reins. If that happened, maybe we could become a real union once more and fight these reform people, sending them back to hell where they belong.

All we'll get from Black is a smiley face as she plunges the knife in our backs.


NYC Educator said...

When I emailed a UFT person we should oppose Black, he immediately countered with, "Would you rather have Rhee?"

I wrote him back that Bloomberg was running for President in 2012, and clearly wanted someone with less history than Klein, and that this certainly wasn't Rhee.

He didn't write me back.

Michael Fiorillo said...

Personally, I think Black is the ideal candidate for Bloomberg to have put forward. She's alarmingly unqualified, has no experience or concern with public education, and has a reputation as a hatchet person.

In other words, she's the perfect person to demonstrate the mayor's (and corporate ed deform's overall)arrogance and contempt for every constituency of the public schools, save the parasites and predators who are feeding off of them. As Chancellor Coca Cola, she weakens Bloomberg's credibility standing by the hour. Long may she remain a pinata in the public eye.

Rhee, as others have pointed out, might be a good second choice, and Unity should not be allowed to use her a bogey(wo)man to scare the membership (one of the few things they do effectively). She is arrogant, vicious and corrupt, and has already caused the political downfall of one of her patrons.

The danger would be for Bloomberg to wise up and nominate a minority educator (from his perspective, an opportunistic black woman who has gone over to the dark side would be ideal)who would pursue his agenda, but make for better PR.

As long as Bloomberg is mayor, every teacher should pray that Chancellor Coca Cola's ongoing train wreck continues.

ed notes online said...

I agree with AT- that Rhee would be the best but they would never go there- her bad karma losing Fenty the election and the Korean factor - whispers in DC on race but here there was a history of Black (the race) - Korean friction.

Most important is this is NYC Educator's corroboration about the UFT/Unity Rhee whispering campaign to make their not fighting the Black nomination look kosher. My how cute Mulgrew tried to be at the DA - "I'm not going to mention her name - but she doesn't need a waiver" - a perfect insight to how the union operates - and manages to get away with it. They indoctrinate the Unity school-based shock troops - at the DA and through District reps and then they sell it to the members.

Right Michael about picking Cathie - she will do the Randi charm thing that takes a few years to wear off. Who would attack her without being vilified?

reality-based educator said...

Rhee has to stay in Sacramento and make sure her husband, KJ, keeps his hands to himself. Also, as you all note, she's damaged goods and sour - even more sour than Klein, if that's possible. Bloomberg wants a happy face that will appeal to soccer moms. That would be Cathie Black.

That said, because she has a track record as a corporate knife and because the media, including the shills at Zuckerman's paper, have been so skeptical of her, I don't think she will be as successful as Bloomberg may hope at laying off 10,000 teachers and smelling like a rose. But we'll see - when you watch her interviews from the past, she does have a certain fake charm that could fool some people into thinking she's "benign."

I did hear that if the appointment goes through, we will be getting plastic surgery added to the DOE health plan, which is very exciting. As a colleague of mine said, we'd all better go in and get some so we can look like young teachers when the layoffs come.