Volume 20, Number 48 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | November 24 - 30, 2010
Advisory Council not happy with Black
The battle over the chancellorship of the New York City School system took another turn last week, with a parent group submitting a resolution calling for a different appointee.
The Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Council, a citywide organization made up of parent representatives of each Community School District, voted unanimously to pass a resolution that stated, in part, “We the members of the Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Council respectfully request that the Mayor appoint a Chancellor who meets the requirements for New York City Schools Chancellor without having to have a waiver from the New York State Education Commissioner.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg named Cathleen Black to replace Joel Klein as chancellor on November 10, prompting objections from parents, lawmakers, and those involved with school reform. Black has had a successful career in publishing but no previous experience in education.
“In general, people feel that the person who runs the school system should have some education background,” said Sue Dietrich, co-chair of the Council. “There’s some concern that Ms. Black had less than Joel Klein did, but at least Joel Klein came up through the New York public schools and taught there. We feel (Black) has not really shown that she has any background. She has not gone to public schools, her children do not go to public schools.”
Dietrich said the resolution was sent by email to Mayor Bloomberg and to David Steiner, the state education commissioner. Steiner is charged with determining whether Black should receive a waiver that would allow her to serve as chancellor despite having no education credentials.
The resolution was not intended to single out Black, Dietrich said, but rather to emphasize the Council’s preference for someone with different qualifications. “As parents we’ve felt for many years that we haven’t been listened to,” she said. “We’ve been frustrated that the parents’ voice is not heard.”
— Andrea Riquier