Saturday, December 27, 2014

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Panel Rejects Mayor Bloomberg's Choice For Schools Chancellor

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Wait. What? I can't remember the last time anyone in power stood up to Mayor Bloomberg. Probably when two dozen or so City Council lawmakers argued against overturning term limits in 2008. In the end, the decision on Cathie Black rests with State Education Commissioner David Steiner. Panel members were only asked to guide him. Well, the people and the panel agree. What will you do, Mr. Steiner?

Four members of a State advisory panel have voted against granting a waiver to Mayor Bloomberg's pick for Schools Chancellor. Two additional members said Cathie Black’s application should not be approved “at this time.” The other two members voted to approve her waiver. The vote is non-binding and the final decision rests with State Education Commissioner David Steiner.

A new poll finds the publishing executive wouldn't get the job if New Yorkers had a say. The Quinnipiac poll finds 64% of New Yorkers think the job requires education experience more than management experience. In addition, 47% say they disapprove of Black's appointment, while 29% approve and 24% are undecided.

What’s your reaction to the vote by the State advisory panel? Should Commissioner Steiner reject Cathie Black’s waiver as a result?

Send your thoughts using the link above.


Finally something we as parents/ have wanted. Hope the State Ed. Commissioner will get it right. We can't let this bureaucracy continue! I have a smile on my face for now....and after my day at school today..........that could begin another entire conversation..............I will keep that smile.



After having a Master's degree in education and ten years of teaching experience at the college level, I was not qualified to teach for the Board of Education until I got more credits in education in order to teach. If Ms. Black gets a waiver, there should be a class action lawsuit file against the Dept of Education for forcing people who want to teach to get more degrees and more credits.






Good News for the children of NYC. Thank God someone is looking out for NYC public schools. Hopefully Commissioner Steiner will hear majority rule in NYC.


A compromise to "mollify" the Mayor's hurt feelings is absolutely unacceptable. The advisory panel's vote was effectively 6 - 2 against, since six of the eight voted "no confidence" in Ms. Black's ability to do the job, or at least to do it on her own. Adding a #2 person is really creating a dual chancellorship, which can only serve to create conflicts and even more confusion in an organization that Klein is leaving in its usual state of organizational chaos.

Not only that, but with the threat of budget cuts and the laying off of 6,000 teachers, how can we possibly justify hiring a person at $250,000+ per year who can't handle the job unless we hire another $250,000+ per year to hold her hand?

Parents and citizens concerned for our children's future must keep saying NO until Commissioner Steiner says no.

Steve K.
Upper West Side

I am not at all surprised that most New Yorkers think that Ms Black is unqualified to be Chancellor because most New Yorkers have more common sense than the Mayor believes they have.

I would not approve a waiver if I were on this advisory panel and I applaud the 4 people who voted "no" to giving Ms Black the waiver.

My opinion of the current Mayor is worse than when he started so many years ago. Though I'd take him over his predecessor any day of the week.

I'll light a candle for Mr Steiner while he decides the future of the public school children of NYC. Now would be a great time for Ms Black to withdraw from this process and let Mr Steiner pick the right person. Oh wait, he can't can he? Darn that Mayor...

Peace, Nick
Hell's K.

Just as I would have without this panel's say-so, I urge the Commissioner to deny the waiver.

I would next urge the mayor to look for an educator with a sense of history, sociology, curriculum & learning, teacher & school needs and the importance of dialog and parent input. In short, I would urge him to appoint Diane Ravitch, whose invaluable recent book on the American education system should be on the mayor and Commissioner's nightstand.

Upper West Side



When my tooth hurts I go to the dentist, when my car breaks down I go to a mechanic, and when my children and other parents have a problem with the educational system they want to go to an individual with educational experience and knowledge of the educational system not a "BEAN COUNTER"

Steve/Queens Village


Commissioner Steiner should definitely reject the waiver as a result of the panel's decision as well as the voice of the people.

Arden Heights, Staten Island

I think it was the right decision. With no experience or background in education, how can she be considered for school's chancellor? Schools should not be run like a business. There needs to be a balance of power and the kids need to come first. I believe that the chancellor should be someone who has worked their way up in the city school system so that they have experienced every facet of what the real needs and concerns are.



Kips Bay

it is about time somebody stood up to bloomberg. don't people see what he is trying to do, get someone in there that has no education experience then turn them into his puppets. would you want a surgeon operating on you who had no surgical experience? I don't think so. you need the right experience for the job. bloomberg needs to get the message new yorkers are tired of his nonsense and are not going to take it anymore.

forest hills



And I doubt the mayor losses much sleep about his new poll numbers. I didn't support Bloomberg in the last election because I imagined that this is the way he would govern in his last term, with arrogance and total disregard for public opinion.

Bay Ridge

How many of you have actually experienced dictatorship? This is how it starts?

Dw Qns

the polls may be moot if the fix is already in. I think this mayor should change back to being a republican because thats his modus operandi. I only hope that his meglomania doesnt hand the next election to palin. Cathie black couldnt manage a dairy barn and most corporate flacks would have said sayonara by now so what Im wondering is whats the deal? (cronysm-wise)


New Yorkers are now seeing King Bloomberg as who he really is. Had the Dems really pulled out the stops last election Thompson would be Mayor. NY'ers got what they deserved.

Midtown East

I have no children in the school system. I pay too much taxes. I hear Cuomo say we spend the most on education and we rank 46 (I'm not exactly sure how these figures came about though). I should be the perfect person to be in favor of Black. I am so against her and it has a lot to do with how offensive I find Bloomberg. In my heart I know you need someone that has been in education.


As someone with a master's in social work, I am appalled. I am better qualified for this job than Ms. Black. (I even have experience working with children.) Friends who are current and former teachers are bowled over and insulted by Bloomberg's move. Would the mayor higher a teacher to run an empire of magazines? The criticism is well-founded.

It's okay to make mistakes, Mr. Bloomberg. Just remove Ms. Black from the running (and why hasn't she herself stepped down by now? Doesn't bode well) and offer the name of someone with the proper credentials. Simple solution. No-brainer.

Liz in Sunnyside

I support the appointment of Cathie Black as school chancellor. Educators are not managers. The Board of Education is sorely in need of a skilled manager. Are people really saying she shouldn’t be appointed because she doesn’t have the right degree in education? Her skills and experience are top notch; the school system is lucky that she is willing to take the job.

I live in Manhattan and have a child in the NYC public school system.


Hi, John:

As much as I dislike arrogant Mayor Bloomberg and his school chancellor pick, I really would prefer to see people put all the energy they're investing in this issue into something that might prove more productive for us all, for example:

1. an examination of our dislike for Bloomberg. why we think he and/or his way of doing business is bad for us, and what we can do to make our government the way we think it should be.

2. a look at why people don't seem to spend as much time demonstrating and talking out against our elected officials in other places (like Albany), and what it is costing us as a society by not doing so,

3. making a list of the things we expect of Cathie Black in her first 90 days, Personally, I expect to see her hit the ground running, continue doing whatever Klein was doing and not cause any controversy. What does Mayor Bloomberg expect her to do in her first 90 days? He should tell us. Let's get a list, check things off as they're done, and have a performance review after 90 days. In many corporate settings there is a 90-day probationary period after which new-hires can essentially be terminated, even without reason. Let's apply the same rule to her. At this point in the Bloomberg administration we cannot afford any lengthy breaking in periods. Her performance needs to be as good and noncontroversial as the performance of one of the Deputy Chancellors would be at this point.

Ellie - Turtle Bay

This is a bit astonishing...I signed the petition and really didn't leave room for any hope, but because of this decision, I have renewed hope that our government does indeed work for us, and that we need to keep fighting for things like this that will affect us in the long run.

Upper west side

I'm sorry to say this because I love the guy and I voted for him three times. But I don't think the Mayor is well. There are too many examples of bizarre thinking:

(a) suggesting the Times Square Bomber was probably a Tea Party person.

(b) telling us St. Vincent's Hospital was superfluous to terrorism preparedness. St. Vincent's provided critical triage and crisis trauma care on 9/11. Yet Mayor Sleepy's attitude towards the closing of St. Vincent's is 'so what?'

(c) this odd DOE appointment.

I suspect the only reason Bloomberg even wanted a third term was to keep himself distracted.


Black isn't the first non-educator to be Chancellor. That was Levy, then Klein so I don't understand why everyone is so upset now. Chancellors who were educators have failed the system for so many years and to be honest the last two "suits" to be Chancellors have not done anything either. The system needs to be completely overhauled because no one is getting it right.


NYC has one of the best school systems in the country. Yes, improvements are needed. But improvements can not come from a financial expert, or an expert manager. Improvements can only come from education experts. It has to be about educating children, NOT managing a budget.

Black might be a great advisor, but not chancellor.

Fernando in Brooklyn

I am a Tutor for the DOE. How can we cheat our students, after we have already cheated them with Klein? I do not get to work a job i am not qualified for. So why should Kathy? This is not a cheer leading team, you cannot try out for this position. We NEED qualified people (and we have alot) in the best interest for our kids. Why are we as parents sitting back and taking this crap from the mayor who appointed himself with his money? wakeup New York. these are our children, and their future let's make it a bright with qualified, educated leaders.

Woodside, Queens

What is the point of a co-chancellor. It means double the bureaucracy and another big salary when the schools budget is stretched to the limit!

Jackson Heights

Bloombergs tenure is coming to an end. New Yorkers are tired of him and his elitist attitude. I'm glad the voted her waiver and they put someone as Chancellor that "we the people" want.

Chazz, Greenwich Village

I support Mayor Bloomberg's decision to appoint Cathleen Black as NYC Schools Chancellor.

As of yet he has not failed NYC, at the end of the day he has Mayoral control of the school system and will not let it fail.

We are just wasting the people and media's time here. Quinnipiac University Poll also showed Bloomberg at an 18 point lead last November and he barely won.

Staten Island

Hello John,


Put Black in a NYC middle school for a month...She will quit. End of story.

(Lower East Side of Manhattan)

I think it is mostly teachers who are objecting to cathy black and frankly i find it unfair. The woman has proven herself and should be given a chance. If you want to blame someone - blame yourselves for electing Michael Bloomberg to a 3rd term. New Yorkers did it and now they have to sleep in the bed they made.

Upper westside

I am pleasantly surprised and impressed by the panels decision. I hope the commissioner shows the same bravery to listen to the people.

As the prime sponsor on the resolution in the council to deny the waiver, I would love to give her a chance. The chance should begin with the Mayor allowing her to speak in public so we can hear her goals and plans.

Council Member Jumaane D. Williams

Mayor Mike needs to stop "bending the rules"'s refreshing to see council member Robert Jackson, stand by the is and always have been our future.

DMD in Was Hghts.

With 3 years left in his term, Bloomberg will hire someone whom is willing to follow his lead. The schools are in the condition they are in because Bloomberg and Klein have been in control for 9 years. Not all schools are bad, but Bloomberg will use her too continue on his fights. She will push too release the TDR's, continue to try too close schools, new teacher evaluations, and continue too chip away at the UFT.


"Dr. Steiner said he might be more inclined to approve a waiver if Mr. Bloomberg appointed a chief academic officer to oversee teaching, learning and accountability and serve as the No. 2 person to Ms. Black.

Herein lies one possible solution given the criticism and negative political climate around the appointment of Cathie Black

A Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, and one recommended by Dr Steiner whose advisory on the choice I would trust implicitly.

The result would be a dynamic duo: world class administrator and world class educator working together for he best possible course for NYC schools



I hope State Education Commissioner, David Steiner will listen to his committee and not grant Cathie Black the required waiver for Schools Chancellor. The Mayor, however, is used to getting his way, remember Term Limits. I am sure the Mayor has already spoken to Mr. Steiner's future boss, Andrew Cuomo and a call has been made already to insure Cathie Black is the next Schools Chancellor. Will people be shocked by this, Yes, but only those who voted for Bloomberg and Cuomo.

Woodside, NY

why is it so important for a schools chancellor have to have educational experience? does the president of the united states have to be a general in the army to be commander in chief? does the police commissioner have to be a police officer ?why should the double standard apply to the education dept.

I have lived in Brooklyn all my life, I had two children in public school, I took them out and had to send them to private school to get a good education and be in an environment for a good education...I was forced to spend the money, the schools were run by "professional" educators who catered to the unions, look where that got's the mayors choice and he is a very good manager who has proven himself with competent choices.

Brooklyn, N.Y.

Education Commissioner Steiner must listen to the parents, teachers and administrators. No waiver should be granted period. No reapplication allowed. If all professionals were granted waivers would you go for surgery with someone who got a waiver and was not trained as a surgeon.

Fort Greene


Okay so they are now questioning cathy black. So what does it prove? The teachers are looking for a scapegoat and they have found it. It is a lynching party. What they really want to target is Bloomberg - so they gang up on Ms. Black. I think it is totally unfair. You mostly have teachers and ex-teachers complaining. She will prevail.

Hell's Kitchen

How is it that my teaching license gets terminated because I was unable to complete my master's degree in the time they feel appropriate. Yet, Mayor Bloomberg wants someone without a master's degree to head the whole Department. Does this make sense to anyone?

Jennifer from Sheepshead Bay

Commissioner Steiner should cease trying to find a way to approve the mayor's choice of Cathie Black. The law and the overwhelming voice of the people should give him the courage to deny the waiver. This is, after all, a democracy.

Rosedale, Queens

Thank you for being steadfast and holding on with this very serious topic! From reading the last couple blogs I was saddened by those who were telling you to move on already, or that you were displaying a bias by keeping this issue in the news.

Educating the children of NYC is VERY important and only The Call and NY1 seem to be keeping the people of New York City up to date on this. Many many thanks for the lively calls and for the well tempered and very well informed Mr Schiumo!


The Mayor's choice of Cathie Black is creative, innovative and bold. Precisely what we need in our public schools.

We don't need another bureaucrat who is beholden to the public schools administration and to the teachers' union. Mrs. Black is a breath of fresh air, a highly successful person from the private sector who will bring new ideas, energy and vigor to the job. Kudos to Mayor Bloomberg for his choice.


While the nomination is more than questionable, with this panel's recommendation , you gotta know we live in New York where no one can make a decision. Two Chancellors? Is deadlock a fact of life here? Gutless, to say the least.

Gil, Hell's Kitchen

Hi my name is Mike and my wife is a teacher in Brooklyn. How can the mayor threaten teacher jobs every few months with layoffs yet the city can afford to hire 2 School Chancellors? Teachers work extremely hard to maintain their jobs and do what’s best for the children. “Children first-Always” is the DOE’s motto. Why doesn’t the mayor practice what he preaches? He doesn’t put children first only DATA!

Hiring another person from the business world to run the schools and make decisions for our teachers and our children only alienates children from the teachers. Business people don’t know anything about academics, child psychology or children’s needs. Children are not statistics-they are children with feelings and needs. Teachers are reduced to producing endless, time consuming and meaningless data collection “projects” so that they can be held accountable. In other words “Fluff” for their schools. Teachers are required to produce binders and binders of data on their students rather than plan effective lessons for their students . Teachers are trained to work with children on every level of need including academic, emotional and physical needs-teachers are not secretaries!. Unfortunately, this administration has reduced the profession to just that - teachers are book keepers and secretaries-not educators and that’s sad!

I think the whole affair is ridiculous. And frankly I do not think you should be spending an entire week on this subject. Aren't there more important things to discuss than this? You only get the same old tired teachers calling into your show kvetching about how unfair this all is. And it is tiresome. Is the Call running out issues that matter?

Wanda in Ozone Park

I hope Dr. Steiner sticks to his guns and teaches a valuable lesson to the Mayor and the children in our school system: you can't buy and bully your way through life. Some of the most valuable things, such as integrity and ethics, are not for sale and the Mayor needs to learn that lesson.

East Village

Veteran teachers have lost jobs and been forced out of subject areas they worked in for many years because of licensing issues. I feel that’s ridiculous but that’s the way The Mayor chose to play it. So he can’t say that licenses and educational credentials suddenly don’t matter when it benefits him in picking Ms. Black.

Forest Hills

I'm not surprised by the panel vote. It is only a show to make the process appear fair. Black will receive the waiver. The laws of this city and state doesn't seems to be applicable to Mayor Bloomberg.

Morris Park, Bronx

I agree with the advisory panel's decision and I'm happy that for once the mayor does not have everyone in his pocket. Cathie Black has no educational experience nor would she even be qualified to teach in our schools. Maybe she does have exceptional managerial experience but that doesn't mean she can run the entire educational system - making decisions that affect 1.1 million children!

As an educator, I believe we need EDUCATORS running the show!!!!


please stop bashing this totally qualified woman. she has a tremendous amount of administrative experience, and is clearly qualified to run this department. why don't you give her a chance? look at the devastated conditions of our schools! perhaps it's better to bring a new perspective to how things are being run. the nay sayers are caught up in in the politics of the situation? is it because she's white?

mark in chelsea

As I teacher, I certainly didn't support the Mayor's selection of Ms. Black, but when she emerged from a meeting with Dennis Wolcott and other officials to declare, "I WILL be the next Chancellor", I thought to myself, "Hmm, Bloomberg's arrogance is contagious!"

Hooray for the Advisory Panel -----

Upper West Side

I think that this is crazy because all this is teaching these children in school is that you do not have to be educated or have a degree to become something in life how is someone going to be qualified to have such occupation as school chancellor with out no education this is nonsense.

Rosie, staten island

I may be a bit over-sensitive to the "corporatization" of government on the heels of the Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld era. I recognize that Bloomberg is a solid manager and Mayor in many ways. On the other hand, the corporate arrogance. the cozying up to special interests like the developers, the entitlements for the "executive" class wiaath concurrent erosion of protections for others is all too familiar.

The Black appointment is indicative of all this. She may be a very fine executive, but she is unqualified to lead a department of professional educators. It is as unacceptable as having a non-physician run the City's Department of Health would be.


As an educator and the proud parent of two students who attend NYC Public Schools, I totally disagree with Mayor Bloomberg’s choice in Cathie Black as the chancellor for our schools. My questions are: “Would he choose an educator (with no law enforcement experience) to run the police department?” Also, “Who gives him the right to manipulate our children as he did with the OVER-INFLATION of the test scores?” Since his administration, teachers have not had a voice; neither do parents! They seem to be listening, but do they hear us? No, they don’t. Maybe, for once, we will all gain our VOICE back!


I see that many of us simply do not have a Gift for the Obvious,? Why would you not appoint a High School Principal with no viable qualifications, as the Director of the Medical Board of Doctors? Answer; for the most obvious reasons not !

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