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Panel Votes Against Recommending Waiver For Black

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Education Commissioner David Steiner (center) surrounded by staffers and members of the advisory panel considering whether Cathie Black should be NYC schools chancellor. (Beth Fertig)

An eight-member panel of educators dealt a big blow to Mayor Bloomberg, voting on Tuesday evening not to support his choice for schools chancellor, publishing executive Cathie Black.

The State Education Commissioner David Steiner convened the panel to get advice on whether to issue Black a waiver since she lacks education credentials. Four panelists voted against Black, two voted in favor and two panelist voted "not at this time."

Education Commissioner David Steiner says he would have the last word, but he told the panel members he preferred to wait.

Panel chairman Susan Fuhrman, the president of Teachers College at Columbia, elaborated to  reporters that Steiner would be willing to consider an amended request for the waiver. She said his preference is for adding a Chief Academic Officer with strong education credentials who would work alongside Black.

Over the last two weeks, Bloomberg has repeatedly said that Black's management experience as Chairman of the Hearst Magazines should matter more than her lack of experience as an educator. But some parents and elected officials have opposed the appointment.

Steiner says he'll make an official decision soon.

A spokesman for Mayor Bloomberg would not comment.

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Comments [5]

Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

"Mayor" Bloomberg has gotten away with too much during his reign. I'm glad at least one agency has had the sense to veto his latest proposal.

The education of our children is something that should be entrusted to individuals who actually have knowledge and experience in the field of education, not merely a crony of the current administration.

If Ms. Black would care to go back to school and get some education credentials, we would be happy to reconsider her nomination...

Nov. 24 2010 06:27 AM

Michael R. Bloomberg became a political fatality last night.

In a rebuke like no other in his short political career, Michael R. Bloomberg was given a rejection of his pick for NYC Schools Chancellor.

Avoiding both his “trusted” inner circle and the public, Bloomberg announced on November 9 that fellow billionaire Joel Klein would resign and be replaced by fellow billionaire Cathie Black. Although he was supposed to be doing an excellent job as Schools Chancellor, according to Bloomberg, Klein abruptly resigned. Why? The unprecedented grass-roots uproar against Cathie Black and Bloomberg’s secretive process began immediately and ended last evening with what will go down in history as the fatal political wound that ended Bloomberg’s political life.

How does it compare to the public’s 2005 rejection of Bloomberg’s Jets stadium proposal or his ill-fated presidential run or his 2009 near defeat at the hands of relative unknown Bill Thompson? Last night’s decision to reject Cathie Black was like a Nuclear Tsunami compared to an inconvenient fender bender.

Bloomberg cannot recover from this no matter how much money he spends. His friends in the media cannot save him, that was supposed to be Cathie Black. Unlike tainted Tylenol or out of control Toyotas, there is no new product to make. In politics, once you have proven yourself to be who you are, a dictator and self-serving power-monger, all the money in the world cannot restore you.

New York City was the winner last night. Yes, the city of the people, not the ultra-wealthy, endured. New York City, which Michael R. Bloomberg tried to own outright, remains free.

What does he do as he staggers and goes down? Will King Bloomberg now fire his top advisors? Will he try to have a real, lawful and public search for a Schools Chancellor? Will David M. Steiner be attacked? Will those who should have indicted him years ago now have the courage to indict or impeach Bloomberg? Who will now emerge as the front-runner the 2013 mayoral race? Is Christine Quinn, Bloomberg’s key ally for his third term, now political road kill?

Nov. 23 2010 11:31 PM
Laurie from Upper West Side

What kind of vote is "not at this time?" Are you sure those panelists were actually voting and not just saying no thank you to a coffee refill? Did they really say they are thinking of adding a Chief Academic Officer? That sounds suspiciously like a Chancellor to me. If they want two people to fill the job of one outgoing chancellor then those two new people should share the salary, the desk, the phone, the secretary. If the chancellor's office has money to spare on hiring, I'd like another teacher in my kids' school so that we can reduce class size or even hire a librarian.

Nov. 23 2010 09:18 PM

This is a real victory for anyone interested in the idea that public education should be a public endeavour (public endeavours being things that require different components of the public to come together and make the decisions that effect us all). Mayor Mike just doesn't have the right to pick someone that the rest of the public (62% of parents, for instance) disagree with. Other elected officials who represent city residents, the union, parents, education groups and community boards have all been effectively out of the general discussion for eight years. This has prevented people from coming together to make decisions. It's nice to see that the sate (first with the legislature last year in changing the mayoral control law to force more voices into the discussion, and now with NYSED denying a ridiculous choice for chancellor) is sensitive to this issue, even if the mayor is not.

Nov. 23 2010 07:19 PM
Spoooon from Brooklyn

Booya! In your face, Bloomberg!

Nov. 23 2010 07:01 PM

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