In her first six weeks as head of New York City schools, Cathie Black has been heckled by parent activists–and heckled them back. She joked that birth control was the solution to crowded schools, the Associated Press reports. The former media executive mockingly teased a throng of angry parents who were shouting at her. A recent poll pegged her approval rating at 21 percent. And opponents are keeping a legal fight alive to block her appointment as schools chancellor because she has no experience as an educator.

“This has not been a good opening round for her,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

But a string of public appearances at dozens of public schools in which Black was smiling and engaging has supporters saying she will prove she has what it takes to oversee the nation’s largest school system and its 1 million students…

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staff and wire services reports