Over the weekend, Mayor Bloomberg experienced more pushback against Cathie Black, his choice for Chancellor of Schools. The only real variable in whether or not Bloomberg will get his choice is if State Education Commissioner David Steiner will grant Black a waiver or not, as she lacks the necessary credentials.
Steiner has convened a panel to give him advice on the waiver issue. Many members have some connection to the Mayor, but the panel seems designed to give Steiner some cover, if not an overwhelming appearance of impartiality.
Also late last week, the Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Council adopted a resolution to “respectfully request that the Mayor appoint a Chancellor who meets the requirements for New York City Schools Chancellor without having to have a waiver from the New York State Education Commissioner,” i.e. a professional educator. The CPAC is comprised of parents from all the districts in the city, and their resolution is the largest sign of organized opposition yet. The United Federation of Teachers also adopted a resolution against the process of the Mayor’s selection.
For now, the Mayor’s biggest allies in getting Black’s waiver are business colleagues, several of those members of Steiner’s advisory committee, and, as Tom Robbins pointed out, a cadre of powerful feminists.
Black will be interviewed by Steiner’s panel tomorrow.