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Hear all facts about Black before judging

An open letter to Community District Education Council 26 President Rob Caloras:

This letter is not intended as an endorsement or rejection of Cathleen Black for the city schools chancellor spot. There are still too many open questions. But I think she deserves the same respect and consideration that would be given to any candidate to explain why she believes she is best suited for this position.

As president of CDEC 26, I am surprised you have already assumed the role of judge and jury and have not even spoken to her or attended a meeting in which she had an opportunity to present her credentials.

As president of CDEC 26, your conclusions and letter are premature. We expect the president of CDEC 26 to show leadership by bucking the pressure to jump on the bandwagon until all the facts are known and the candidate is given a fair hearing, which all candidates are entitled to. It is imperative that critical thinking and thoughtful analysis drive this decision, not flowery rhetoric absent all the relevant facts.

Certainly her lack of education background should be considered. Good leaders will always consult and surround themselves with experts in the field. But a chancellor must also be a great manager, especially when managing a school system as large and diverse as ours. It requires out-of-the-box thinking and independence from unions and lobbyists. The chancellor’s agenda and priority must be driven by what is in the best interests of the children, even if those decisions may not always be in the best interests of the union leadership.

Obviously, the United Federation of Teachers more often than not shares the common interest, but at the end of the day its members will always be its No. 1 priority.

The chancellor must always put children first and that is why independence is so important. I urge you as president of our school district to demonstrate the leadership and due process that befits a position like yours and to avoid hasty conclusions until all the facts are known and the candidate is given a fair hearing and is fully vetted. We expect nothing less from the president of CDEC 26.

Bob Friedrich

President

Glen Oaks Village

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