In introducing herself this week to a surprised city as the next New York City schools chancellor, Cathleen P. Black asked for the one thing that may prove to be impossible, reports the New York Times.

 “I have no illusion about this being an easy next three years--quite the opposite,” said Ms. Black, a publishing executive without political or education leadership experience. “But what I ask for is your patience, as I get up to speed on the issues facing K-12 education.”

But there will be no cushy learning period for Ms. Black. She will be entering a treacherous political and educational...

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