New York City: Long History Of Pairing CEOs & CAOs
Last night's vote by the state advisory board against giving Cathie Black a pass to run the NYC public schools was a surprise to many but certainly not the first time that it's been noted that nontraditional leaders need help from educators to run big city school systems. When San Diego hired Alan Bersin to head its schools, he was paired with Tony Alvarado. When Chicago brought in Paul Vallas and Arne Duncan they both had CAOs (Cozette Buckney and Barbara Eason-Watkins) who provided valuable advice or served as window dressing, depending on who you talk to. Other nontraditional leaders -- Romer and Brewer -- have had top educators supporting them (including Ray Cortines, if I recall correctly). On the radio this morning Joel Klein noted that he was supported by several top educators during his tenure in NYC. What makes the current situation a little different is that it's New York, where everything is more important, and that the state may write the requirement into law.