Bloomberg Takes "Full Responsibility"
April 7th, 2011
In an unprecedented reversal for the Bloomberg adminsitration, Schools Chancellor Cathie Black stepped down this morning just after several of her top deputies resigned and a poll gave her a failing approval rating.
At City Hall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he spoke with Black this morning, and they “mutually agreed” it was time for her to go. The decision follows a NY1/Marist College poll that put Black’s approval rating at 17 percent. Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott will replace Black.
The announcement culminates what will likely be the shortest tenure as chancellor in history. Black was selected in November. Her stint was punctuated by embarrassing gaffes and a lack of confidence in her ability to improve the city’s public school system. Today’s announcement surprised and shocked many and represented a rare defeat for the third term mayor, who has often balked at admitting mistakes.
This morning, though, was different.
“I take full responsibility that this has not worked out,” Bloomberg said.
At the same time, Bloomberg was hesitant to reflect on why Black failed. He repeatedly urged the media to “look forward” and not dwell on her three-month stint.
“The story had become about her, and it should be about the students,” Bloomberg said.
During the humbling news conference, Bloomberg said Black had done an “admirable job” and had nothing but “respect and admiration for her.” He also said leading the nation’s largest public school system was “difficult.”
Unlike Black, who sent her children to private school and had no teaching experience, Walcott has taught kindergarten and served on the former Board of Education as well as an adjunct professor at York College. He sent his children to New York City public schools.By Courtney Gross on April 7, 2011, 1:13 pm
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