The Less Experience, The Better

Jose 4 Comments

I get it. The less experience and qualifications you have as an educational policy leader, the better. If you can play good defense and set nice picks, you’re qualified for the US Secretary of Education. If you’re part anti-Microsoft lawyer and part CEO of a random arm of a corporation, you can be chancellor of the biggest school system in the nation. Then, if you acquire too much experience from this position, you need to find someone who’s even less qualified than that.

Enter Cathie Black.

Scene 1:

Klein: “So Mike.”
Bloomberg: “Yes, Joel.”
Klein: “I’m done.”
B: “What do you mean you’re done?!”
K: “Yeah, that’s it, it’s over. I’m bored. I can only close so many schools, and the union can’t beat us so long as you keep pumping money into people like me. It’s not a challenge. Can’t I go beat up on Google or something?”
B: “But … but … NYC teachers still like their union, and Waiting for Superman still didn’t get an Oscar nod yet. You don’t have dreams of a red carpet? A swanky limo with Sarah Palin and Snooki in your arms?”
K: “Bloomie, I gotta tell you, I simply can’t hang. Besides, I think I’m too experienced now. It’s ruining my judgment and dulling my party pooping skills.”
B: “Fine. You win. I got a replacement for you anyways.”
K: “WHAT?!”
B: “Yeah, you didn’t think I’d let you leave without a replacement? Gimme a break!”
K: “OK, OK, give it to me.”
B: (waits in suspense)
K: “Well?”
B: (grins) “”Cathie. Black.”
K: (blank stare) “Really?!”
B: [flatly]“I have to pay someone with less experience than you.”
K: (mulls over it) “What sense does that make?!”

Scene 2:

Klein: “Here’s what you need to know about being a chancellor of New York City schools.”
Black: “OK, Go.”
K: “Remember the 3Ds. Destroy. Defend. Deny.”
B: “Explain.”
K: “We got 1.1 million kids in the public school system, tons of parents, too many teachers, a bunch of principals, and pounds of employees in my office. I’ve done most of the dirty work for you. All you gotta do is close the schools here, here, and here.” (points to huge MTA map) (labels them “axis of evil”)
B: “And what about the union? The parents? The communities around them?”
K: “Fuck em. We’ll just put out another movie and make them all look as evil as …
B: “We are, that’s BRILLIANT! Just one thing, though.”
K: “What?”
B: “I have less experience than you. It probably means I’ll be better than you.”
K: “And who made you chancellor of the world?”
B: “Your boss did!”
K: “DOH!”

Scene 3:

Bloomberg: “Before you go up there, I just want you to know something, Cathie.”
Black: “Yes, Mayor.” (stomps feet)
Bloomberg: “My buddies think you’re cool.”
Black: “Really?”
Bloomberg: “Yes, and they want you to know you’re going to do a great job. So don’t fuck it up.”
Black: “How do I do that?”
Bloomberg: “Do everything we say, even when we actually mean it.”
Black: “I don’t get it.”
Bloomberg: “Who cares? Just get up there and say some crap. The papers will clean up everything we say anyways. My money is magic, baby. Plus, I’m not trying to miss the Oprah after-party.”
Black: “So I’m cool?”
Bloomberg: “Sure. Just be careful. Michelle Rhee might be in the audience, and she’ll cut you with her side-eye.”
Black: “NOOOOOOO!”

Scene 4:

Bloomberg: “So now that that’s done, where are you going?”
Klein: “Fox News.”
Bloomberg and Black: “REALLY?!”

Rupert Murdoch slips in with a candy cane and a tap dance. All laugh.

Except for the rest of NYC. Eh.

Jose, who considers this xtra-normal indeed …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Jose VilsonThe Less Experience, The Better

Comments 4

  1. Hugh O'Donnell

    Great post, Jose. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the online article a couple of minutes ago. I had to hurry over here and see if you had had anything to say about it.

    As a transplanted (to Oregon) New Yorker, I so feel your pain…

  2. Pingback: Damn Good Education Daily « Parents 4 democratic Schools

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