The Art McFarland, newscaster for ABC channel 7 interview with NYC Schools Chancellor Cathie Black, Friday, December 3rd, is the 2nd one of a three part interview.
Mrs. Black provided troubling responses to questions dealing with contract negotiations and teacher tenure/seniority, parroting what someone else trained her to say less the vision of a seasoned educator prepared to take the helm of the largest school system in the nation.
McFarland said, "Publishing executive Cathie Black has led thousands of employees but she's never done business with the kinds of labor unions she will now have to face. The powerful United Teachers Federation still does not have a contract with the city. And in Mrs. Black the UFT may be facing a tough negotiator."
Mrs. Black said, "there is not a lot of gives to gives. We are very budget constrained."
In the second question asked, "Would you like to see some changes to the system of teacher tenure? Would you like to make it easier for you and your colleagues in the education department to dismiss teachers that don't come up to your standards?"
"Well first of all that's why we feel very strongly about teacher evaluation. At this point in time a teacher has an S/U at the end of year, a five minute conversation perhaps with the principal satisfactory or unsatisfactory. I couldn't run an organization of 200 people or 2000 people by saying to somebody at the end of year "S" versus "U" nor can I imagine at age 25 or 24 saying to somebody you have life time guarantee for this position. Just show up every day, it's inconceivable. "
"And I don't agree with last in first out cause... were going to get a lot of the newer, younger fresher ideas that also have been serving in the most disadvantaged communities."
Mr. McFarland: "That approach ....would... revolutionize the relationship between the city and the teachers union? Are you prepared to take that on?
"We have to make sure that the union is in agreement, that it is children first. Children first is really at the heart of what teacher should be doing. There should be ways that we can work at this."
"Give me a chance ...I will listen ... , I will be out in the community... get to know me. Don't judge someone that you have never even met."