Don't Bet on Black: Panel Votes Against Mayor's Chancellor Pick

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Andrew Siff reports.

    Members of the advisory panel considering Cathie Black's qualifications to become the city's next Schools Chancellor have voted 4-to-2 against granting her the waiver she needs to get the job.

    Two additional members agreed not to support Black at this time but have indicated they would support her if the mayor were to name a number two official with educational experience.

    The waiver is required because Black lacks any prior education experience. Now State Education Commissioner David Steiner has the final say.

    Steiner released a statement late Tuesday saying, “I want to thank all of the members for the advisory panel for the seriousness of purpose which they brought to their evaluation of Ms. Black’s qualifications for a school district leader’s certificate.  I will weigh their advice and insight as I consider the decision before me.”

    And sources close to the discussions say Stein has been inclined not to support Black from the beginning, and pointed out  that a poll out this morning didn't make matters easier.

    The poll found 62 percent of parents with children in public schools disapprove of the Black appointment. 25 percent supported it. Mayor Bloomberg's press office has declined to comment on today's developments.

    Parents groups who have continually been against the mayor applauded the panel's decision.

    "Public school parents thank the members of the panel and hope that Commissioner Steiner will look out for the best interests of those who matter most -- our children," said Leonie Haimson, Executive Director of Class Size Matters. "We are gratified that the panel agreed that Ms. Black was not qualified to run our public schools, which after all, are not a business enterprise."