The appointment of Cathie Black, formerly CEO of Hearst Magazines, as the chancellor of the New York school system was met with some arched eyebrows and some puzzled expressions. Since taking on the job, she's been extremely visible and audible, according to the New York Observer, so much so that she's talked herself into trouble.
Asked by a parent about overcrowding, Black made a wisecrack: "Could we just have some birth control for a while? It could really help us all out a lot."
That kind of humor might prompt a chuckle or two in the slick magazine world, but in a meeting with public-school parents who have legitimate concerns about classroom overcrowding, Ms. Black would have been better served if she'd kept a lid on her boardroom wit.
If that weren't enough, she went on to compare the decisions she must make about classroom space to a series of "Sophie's Choices," a reference, of course, to the William Styron novel about a mother forced to choose which one of her children will live and which one will die in the Auschwitz concentration camp.