A Quiz For The New CEO

Joel Kline, who spent eight years heading the largest US school system in New York City, resigned this week.  He will be replaced by Cathleen Black, the first woman ever to hold that position.

What I found interesting about this change is that Kline had no experience with education (beyond being a student) prior to his appointment as chancellor.

He was a lawyer with the Justice Department, most notable for being the lead prosecutor in the long-running US vs. Microsoft anti-trust case.

His successor also has no experience with education, having been most recently the chair of Hearst Magazines.

Both were appointed by New York Mayor for Life Bloomberg, a billionaire businessman who evidently is one of those who believes learning is a business.

Anyway, as I said, this is all very interesting, watching from this only slightly removed location and wondering how much influence what happens in NYC schools will have on the rest of us in public education.

NYC Educator, who is much closer to the action, has Ten Totally Snark-Free (Really) Questions for the incoming chancellor, the first of which is one I think every advocate of applying business practices to educating children should answer.

Coming from a competitive industry like publishing, you surely understand the value of equipping your employees with the best and most complete tools to get the job done. How will you improve the business practices of NYCDOE around contracting for technology and supplies to ensure that no teacher has to buy her own supplies for the job, from chalk to iPads?

“Best and most complete tools to get the job done”, provided by the district.  Now wouldn’t that be nice.

Variations on many of the remaining questions are ones that should be answered by anyone calling themselves an education leader, starting with the president.

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