Let’s not read too much into what was a mistaken but not malicious judgment call to keep the schools open on a particular bad-weather day recently. We lucked out that no school-related disasters were reported under these harsh conditions, but let’s see the big picture. Chancellor Fari–a’s decision was perhaps thoughtless but not insensitive. It wasn’t mean-spirited, conceived in spite or as a political power play. Maybe she didn’t have all the facts or the facts were still unfolding when a determination had to be finalized. The chancellor made a good-faith decision with the perceived interests of parents and students in mind.
And certainly Chancellor Fari–a’s calling it a “beautiful” day was flawed public relations etiquette, but it was not a character-defining moment, unlike the heartlessness displayed by Bloomberg-appointed Chancellor Cathie Black, who essentially blamed overcrowded schools on the failure of inner-city parents to practice birth control.
By all means let’s hold Chancellor Fari–a’s feet to the fire over policies related to the seminal issues of quality public education, but let’s not get bent out of shape over this event. The snow didn’t lighten up on that day but critics should lighten up looking back. Chancellor Fari–a’s education forecast is worthy of encouragement. Let’s hope she doesn’t quit her day job to become a meteorologist.