Volume 20, Number 51 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | December 15 - 21, 2010
Steiner to State Supreme Court
Mayor Bloomberg and N.Y. State Education Commissioner David Steiner’s appointment of Cathie Black as the new chancellor of the City’s Department of Education is now set to go before a judge.
A group of public school parents, one from Downtown, followed through on their word last Tuesday and filed a lawsuit against the state D.O.E. for choosing Black, who is slated to assume office on January 3, 2011.
In doing so, the parents hope to overturn the state D.O.E.’s decision to hire Black, who they claim is unfit for the job.
A court hearing is scheduled for December 23.
“I’m here today because I’m offended and disgusted that the state and city education officials continue to disrespect and devalue our education, the future of our city,” said lawsuit plaintiff Shino Tanikawa, a P.S. 3 parent and founder of the Deny Waiver Coalition.
The petition argues that the D.O.E.’s appointment of Shael Polakow-Suransky as Chief Academic Officer and second-in-command does not make up for Black’s lack of credentials. It also contends that Black’s training and experience “is not substantially equivalent to the certification requirements” set forth in the regulations.
Black’s appointment, therefore, is an “abuse of authority” and a violation of the law, according to Civil Attorney Norman Siegel who spoke at a press conference held last Thursday at 250 Broadway.
Education officials, Tanikawa said, must be accountable to the city’s parents, students and teachers – “after all, that’s what they keep telling us,” she said.