Friday, December 19, 2014

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The Call Blog: Dennis Walcott Marks Last Day As Schools Chancellor

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Although Dennis Walcott only served three years as schools chancellor, his influence on the Bloomberg administrations stretches back to the very beginning. It'll be interesting to note who Bill de Blasio will choose for this crucial role -- he doesn't have much time left to make his choice.

Today marked the last day on the job for Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott. Visiting five schools in Queens today, Walcott reflected on his time and said reforms under Mayor Bloomberg have changed the system for the better. He cited the creation of a teacher evaluation system and the opening of the school bus system for competitive bidding. Walcott took over as Schools Chancellor in 2011 after his controversial predecessor, Cathie Black, resigned after just three months. He was previously Deputy Mayor under Bloomberg for ten years.

Walcott leaves in the middle of a school year. When students return from winter break, the de Blasio administration will be in office. Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has yet to name Walcott’s successor. Insiders speculate it may be Carmen Farina, a former Department of Education insider.

Meanwhile, it was another last day of sorts for Mayor Bloomberg, who finished his final weekly radio show this morning. On the show, Bloomberg touted: “Something like 89 percent of the promises that we made have been fulfilled or well underway.”

What’s your reaction to Bloomberg’s statement that he’s fulfilled most of the promises made during his three campaigns? What is his legacy when it comes to education? How would you grade Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott’s handling of the job? Are you worried Bill de Blasio has yet to name a replacement?

Reply with your thoughts using the link above.

Mayor Bloomberg succeeded in polarizing the city between the "haves & have nots". He will.never know what it is to struggle.


It's too bad that Bloomberg fulfilled only 89% of his promises. It would have been better if he had fulfilled zero percent.

Port Richmond

Seeing that since a school chancellor is considered one of the most important appointees
DeBlasio should have made this choice to be one of the first on his agenda. Instead he
has appointed the same cronies that have served in New York City and or New York State and
so I gather this is the change we are to expect to happen. He has as many other politicians
in our city and state lobbied for his choice of speaker. To me she has a problem not to pledge allegiance
to the flag of the USA and by De Blasio hand picking his speaker then this is the same problem
we had before with the Bloomberg administration. There will be no discussions on matters
that concern us New Yorkers. In the end he will get what he wants. Today Quinn passed many
laws that Bloomberg asked for and got them and meanwhile we have two people leaving this
city that make up all of these laws to benefit themselves and we are then stuck with them and
all the laws they have passed. So while we remain in our city they have passed us by like
a ship passing in the night. DeBlasio has already showed up late for two appointments and
my concern is that he is so dead set on the education of the children just what would happen if
in the future he had an appointment with students and showed up late. Just what kind of an
example would he be setting for these students.
I’m sorry to say that Wolcott is I’m sure a wonderful person but he was hand picked by
Bloomberg and thus he becomes just another one of his yes people.
As for Bloomberg he is looking like a bigger fool than he already is by continually trying to
add to what he believes is his legacy.
This statement of his about him having fulfilled most of the promises made during his campaigns
is absurd.
Bloomberg’s legacy is not to be believed because he fudges scores and as far as the police department
goes he is great for quotas and I do hope this is the last of him.
He is to eager to play the blame game in every incident because he refuses to take the blame

Morris Park

Bloomberg said he would make the education system better, he didn't some of the kids are still failing it's not all his fault the kids parents have to help too make sure they study and do their homework every night even though its Christmas break the kids should still study, Chancellor Walcott did a good job considering he was Mayor Bloomberg's puppet a chancellor is supposed to have their own ideas to bring to the table. I know Mayor-Elect Diblasio will pick a good person to run the city schools Ms Farina is a good choice because she's a knows a lot about education she knows what the kids need to succeed to get into college Happy Holidays!!!!

Upper West Side

Bloomberg must have promised nothing but destruction of the greatest city in the USA because that is what he has done. He took an excellent school system and turned it in to another one of his businesses. Only problem is a school's bottom line is not the mighty dollar, it's a child's education and future.

Walcott did not bring about a new teacher evaluation system. The new system was handed to us by the State of New York because the City refused to negotiate with the Union.

It's too bad that neither Bloomberg or Walcott ever got their facts straight before speaking to the press and that the average person believes everything they hear or read. Most of their comments - especially now that their reign of destruction is over - have been nothing but dismal failures. For the past 12 yrs, our school system has turned out ill prepared children - whether it was moving them to the next grade or sending them off to college. The only thing these children learned was what they needed to pass their test. The days of an education for life - a quality education - were taken away the day our school system switched to workshop model classrooms. Classrooms where nothing but talking takes place and kids can't pay attention due to all the distraction at their table. Now we are facilitating - the children work in groups and this hands on work is supposed to be engaging and a learning experience for them. Time will tell.

Bloomberg/Walcott have destroyed teacher morale, turned the public against us, empowered the children and their parents to be in charge of what goes inside the school and has virtually tied the administrations hands against any sort of discipline.

I could go on and on and on but I believe just saying "good riddance" to both of them is enough to show I am optimistic about the future of education and I hope and pray that once again NYC Public Schools will become solid places of learning.


Arden Heights

Bloomberg destroyed the school and civil service system. His cronies have lucrative contracts running the charter schools and he was/is on the verge of selling of city housing propoerty for luxury high rise condos.

Park Hill

Some bring happiness when they come and others, like Wallcott, will bring it when he leaves. He will forever be a part of the negative policies of Mayor Bloomberg that have advanced a corporate concept of school reform that has done more harm than good. He will NOT be missed by most and the data touting educational success in our city is built on a house of lies!


Dennis walcott was a terrible chancellor. I am glad hes out.

Far Rockaway

Michael bloomberg does not understand people and he has no idea what education is. He failed NYC in edicating children and was only an ego in search of a legacy. Good riddence.


Mike is misinformed. Charter schools do not represent a random sample of students. Parents wait on line to get their kids in that school, meaning parents are involved! . Don't compare charter to regular run schools, different population of students and parents.


Let's not sugarcoat Walcott's legacy. He implemented Bloomberg's corporate inspired plan to create a climate of fear by firing teachers, and destroy public education through privatization. In the final analysis, he failed the children.


Dennis Wolcott is a class act who did an excellent job as both Deputy Mayor and Schools Chancellor. I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

Mayor Bloomberg was a great mayor because he was not beholden to special interest groups; he didn't need their money. I have great concern about seems that he owes everyone exept you and me.

Midtown East

All this talk about changes in the public school, but New York City really needs to become concerned about the New York City Department of Correction before its too late. Since under the incompetent watch of Commissioner Dora Schriro, her administrative staff idly does nothing while their male & female staff are brutally assaulted by these criminals, and only appear to take action when staff members defend themselves from physical harm, and that is when they want to hold them up to an absurd scrutiny, so they can determine whether they should be criminally indicted, or departmentally charged. If something is not done very soon New York City will end up paying a very costly price, because as of now Corrections has almost lost the jails, and once they are completely lost, we will lose the city.


Those letter grades are a joke! And many schools change grades, smudge data to pass the kids


Bloomberg's last remarks regarding the dangers of pensions and health care costs of municipal employees reveal everything one needs to know about Bloomberg's true intentions towards teachers. He has spent the last the last 12 years attacking teachers, maybe now people will understand all he ever wanted to do was to destroy one of the last standing effective unions in the country: the UFT.

He launched at all out war against public schools teacher, students and parents.
He systematically destroyed vocational education. He strategically attacked schools in low income neighborhoods so that he could erect charter schools in publically funded building that will be later sold as luxury condos. He increased the importance of test scores as an evaluation measure so that he could reward his cronies in the world of corporate publishing.

Jackson Heights

GOOD RIDDANCE!!! It's about time the Prince of Failure returned to the sewers. A more inept lackey has never been seen in the educational system of NYC. With his master, King of Failure Bloomberg, they managed to almost bring the school system to its knees. The real shame of Walcott is that he damaged the school system his family attends. After Cathie Black. Walcott was truly the most inept chancellor schools have ever seen. He did not have an original thought EVER, understood nothing about education or schools, blindly followed Bloomberg like a pathetic lapdog, and spent more time telling us how great he was more than anything else. He, Bloomberg, and Klein should be held personally responsible for the retroactive raises due NYC teachers. They should also be prosecuted for the criminally negligent destruction of NYC schools.

Horrific. New common core state standards headed by D.O.E. Chancellor, children are failing, students are dropping out, and great opportunities are being lost. It is not Bloomberg's fault. It was the fault of Dennis M. Walcott.

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