A couple of weeks ago, Mayor Bloomberg nominated Cathie Black as Chancellor of New York City schools. Her nomination was immediately controversial, because Black has no experience as a teacher or even as a superintendent. Previously, she was the USA Today publisher and Hearst Magazines chief. In order to take the position, a special waver had to be granted, because she does not possess teaching certification.
Can someone with no background in education run a school system? Is managing a school system no different than managing a company that produces widgets? Is it better to bring in an outsider who doesn't have any political alliances and isn't invested in preserving the status quo? Can someone make reasonable education policy, if they've never actually taught eigth graders how to write an essay?