The Hechinger Report is a national nonprofit newsroom that reports on one topic: education. Sign up for our weekly newsletters to get stories like this delivered directly to your inbox.

The Bloomberg administration has never seemed that concerned about winning popularity contests when it comes to school reforms. Michael Bloomberg expected New Yorkers to care more about outcomes—as measured by rising standardized test scores and graduation rates—than about his methods for achieving them.

The fact that he so unceremoniously rid his administration of Cathie Black after just three months suggests a recognition that perhaps the means actually matter as much as the end.

It wasn’t just the fact that Black was a magnet for public opprobrium. Joel Klein, the previous schools chancellor, never polled very well, and many of the reforms he enacted were highly unpopular—closing schools, reorganizing the community school districts into regions, overhauling the gifted and talented testing system.

But in the mayor’s mind, Klein was a clear success. His job was to overhaul a school system that the administration thought was badly broken.

Black’s job, by contrast, was more to safeguard these reforms, not necessarily introduce a bunch of new ones, and to sell them to the public so they’d outlive the Bloomberg administration. Obviously that wasn’t working out.

Read the rest of the story at

The Hechinger Report provides in-depth, fact-based, unbiased reporting on education that is free to all readers. But that doesn't mean it's free to produce. Our work keeps educators and the public informed about pressing issues at schools and on campuses throughout the country. We tell the whole story, even when the details are inconvenient. Help us keep doing that.

Join us today.

Letters to the Editor

1 Letter

At The Hechinger Report, we publish thoughtful letters from readers that contribute to the ongoing discussion about the education topics we cover. Please read our guidelines for more information. We will not consider letters that do not contain a full name and valid email address. You may submit news tips or ideas here without a full name, but not letters.

By submitting your name, you grant us permission to publish it with your letter. We will never publish your email address. You must fill out all fields to submit a letter.

Submit a letter

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *