Panel Rejects Waiver for Black
November 23rd, 2010
The panel appointed to review Cathie Black’s waiver has voted against granting the waiver, according to Gotham Schools. The site quotes Teachers College president Susan Fuhrman, a member, as saying four members voted against the waiver that would allow Black to become city schools chancellor, two voted for it and two voted “not at this time.” Furhman would not specify which members cast what votes.
The vote is advisory; the final decision lies with state Education Commissioner David Steiner. While staying publicly silent on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s appointment of Black, a publishing executive with no education experience, Steiner apparently has his doubts too. The New York Times is reporting that a person “familiar with the discussions”” said Steiner will reject Blacks’ appointment unless she comes paired with an educator “to help her run the system.”
While Bloomberg could accede to that request (assuming the report is correct, of course), “the decision to impose conditions on the waiver request is a sharp rebuke to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who has worked feverishly to rally support for Ms. Black,” Javier Hernandez writes in the Times.
If Bloomberg did name an educator, it could be interesting to see whether that person would have any real clout
In a statement, Steiner thanked the panel and said he would “weigh their advice and insight as I consider the decision before me.” Steiner has not said when he will make his decision, but the current chancellor, Joel Klein, plans to leave Tweed at the end of the year.
The panel had previously been under sharp attack for its members’ close ties to Bloomberg, three worked for organizations that have received money from the mayor or his administration, and three once worked for the Department of Education.
Bloomberg has not wavered in his support of Black, reiterating it today in the wake of a poll showing 47 percent of New Yorkers — and 62 percent of public school parents — opposed the appointment. And also today, the education department released a list of people it identified as “prominent women leaders,” including Gloria Steinem and Whoopi Goldberg, who said they supported Black.By Gail Robinson on November 23, 2010, 6:23 pm
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