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Friday, November 12, 2010

Emergency Protests in Manhattan and at Brooklyn Burough Hall; Criticism Widespread Against Black

Protests against Cathie Black's chancellorship are coming from all boroughs, even the New York State Assembly. Please take note of the fact that the Borough Presidents are 100% behind Black. The Borough Presidents are the people who appoint members to the Panel For Education Policy, and are showing how little respect they and their appointees have for all the parents, children and teachers in NYC public schools.

Betsy Combier


November 13, 2010, New York, NY. A press conference will be held tomorrow, Sunday, November 14, 2010 at 1 PM, in front of the Tweed Department of Education Building at 52 Chambers Street, Manhattan, where civil rights leaders, concerned citizens, parents of public school students and current and former public school students and teachers of New York City will release their letter sent to New York State Education Commissioner David Steiner, urging him not to grant New York City’s request for a waiver for Cathleen Black to become the next Chancellor of the New York City Public Schools.

The letter, in part, states:

“Because the leader of the New York City public schools is critical to the raising of academic levels of our children, and because we believe in equal opportunity as the best process for recruiting and evaluating competitive candidates for a job that deserves excellence... we
respectfully and strongly urge you to hold the Mayor’s appointee to the standards and qualifications set out in the statute for school superintendents…

“The fact that Mayor Bloomberg did not undertake a public search in accordance with equal employment opportunity principles in itself raises significant public policy issues, as well as the specter of cronyism.”

WHEN: Sunday, November 14, 2010----1 PM
TIME: One o’clock in the afternoon
WHERE: Tweed Education Building–52 Chambers Street
CONVENERS: Norman Siegel, Civil Rights Attorney
                          Michael Meyers, Executive Director, NY Civil Rights Coalition
                          Leonie Haimson, Executive Director, Class Size Matters

PARTICIPANTS: Leonie Haimson, Class Size Matters
                               Michael Meyers, New York Civil Rights Coalition
                               Norman Siegel, Civil Rights Attorney
                               Lavinia Forts, Staten Island Parent
                               Philip De Paolo, Brooklyn Parent

And others

For further information, please contact: Michael Meyers at 212-563-5636;
Leonie Haimson at 917-435-9329 or Norman Siegel at 347-907-0867.


Join me, Chris Owens, on Monday, November 15th, 10:00 AM, at a Brooklyn Borough Hall press conference to protest the selection of another schools Chancellor with no education experience. We need parents to come out and join us. Contact me regarding the program. If you can't be there in person, please send your remarks to me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

To read my position on this matter, please click here.

Thank you!

Hon. Chris Owens
District Leader, 52nd Assembly District
Member, NY State Democratic Committee

Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson agrees:

Friday, November 12, 2010
Assemblywoman Gibson Criticizes Mayor's DOE Pick

Add Bronx Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson to the growing list of legislators criticizing Mayor Bloomberg's appointment of Cathleen Black as the city's new Schools Chancellor.
In a letter to David M. Steiner, the commissioner of the New York State Education Department, Gibson said she "remain[s] troubled that Cathie Black would assume the role of Chancellor without neither substantial nor comprehensive educational or professional experience in teaching."

State law requires that school chiefs hold certain qualifications, including a professional certificate in educational leadership. But the law also allows the commissioner to make exceptions. Joel Klein, the outgoing chancellor, was given a waiver when he was offered the job in 2002, and Gibson doesn't want a repeat. Her letter, which was released to the press, is embedded below.

Gibson's letter
Tony Avella:
November 10, 2010 2:02 PM 4 Comments
Tony Avella: Deny Cathie Black A Chancellor's Waiver
By Celeste Katz

He's not yet in state Sen. Frank Padavan's seat, but Senator-elect Tony Avella is already out with a letter asking Education Commissioner David Steiner to deny Cathie Black the waiver she needs to become the next NYC schools chancellor.

Simply put, Avella agrees with those who say a professional educator -- which Black is not -- belongs in the job, not a magazine magnate who sent her own kids to an out-of-state private school.

Read for yourself:
Avella Letter to State Commissioner of Education Re Cathie Black

Read more:
Who is Cathie Black ... chairman of Hearst Magazines is Bloomberg's pick to replace Joel Klein

November 10, 2010 11:11 AM
Cathie Black - For Better Or Worse?
By Celeste Katz, Daily Politics
I got a slew of responses to Mayor Bloomberg's pick of Hearst Magazines exec Cathie Black to come in as NYC schools chancellor after Joel Klein leaves, so here's a selection of excerpts of what I heard. I'd be very interested to hear YOUR thoughts on this too... We will be having a livechat on this in a short while - stay tuned for more info!

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer: "While Cathie Black wasn’t on most people’s draft boards to become the next schools chancellor, she has been an all-star in the publishing world for years. I am glad to hear that her first order of business will be reaching out to parents, teachers, and other members of our school community, and I look forward to working with her to help improve city schools for all of our 1.1 million students."

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz: "On behalf of Brooklyn and our borough’s more than 300,000 public school students, their parents, guardians and teachers, I wish Chancellor Klein well and look forward to working with Cathie Black as she takes the helm of the Department of Education.”

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr: "In many ways Bronx parents and parents throughout the city have lost confidence in the Department of Education, and I am hopeful that Ms. Black will usher in a new era of collaboration and community responsiveness at the DOE while we work together to improve our public schools for the 1.1 million children who rely on them."

Brooklyn State Assemblyman Nick Perry: “A quick review of what is known about the background of Mayor Bloomberg’s announced choice, raises a lot of questions as to the direction, and the real agenda for our public education system. It is of concern that the newly appointed chancellor appears to have no significant educational background, as required by NYS Education Law. Furthermore, she was raised in a private school system, and subsequently raised her children in a private school system, it is very difficult to believe that a person who has such a strong history steeped in private education, will be able to appreciate the diverse and difficult challenge of running the NYC Public School System. Under NYS Education Law, Ms. Black, will not be able to officially assume the position without a waiver by the NYS Board of Regents and just a quick glimpse at her profile raises significant questions as to how such a waiver might be justified.”

Eva Moskowitz, Founder and CEO of Success Charter Network: “There are more high-performing public school options for parents in New York City than ever before, largely because of the climate that Chancellor Klein created for new schools that could be designed around excellent teaching and learning. Years from now, when we reach a day when all children in the city are offered the education they deserve, we will have Chancellor Klein to thank for the tough work of getting the reform ball rolling.”

Read on...
NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio: “I want to thank outgoing Chancellor Joel Klein for his service to our City. While I have not agreed with every decision he’s made, I sincerely respect his dedication to our children and the improvements he fostered in our schools. I also wish to extend a warm welcome to our new Schools Chancellor Cathie Black. I look forward to working with her to address the challenges still facing our education system, especially parental engagement and improving academic achievement for all students.”

Joe Williams, Democrats for Education Reform: “There is no doubt that New York City’s students have access to better schools and greater education opportunity today, than when Chancellor Klein took office 8 years ago. From his support for public charter schools, to his emphasis on accountability, Chancellor Klein has been a warrior for progressive education reforms and most importantly, an invaluable ally to our city’s children. We’re similarly excited to begin working with Chancellor Black to continue building on these important reforms and ensuring that every child in NYC gets a great education.”

City Councilman David Greenfield: “I welcome Cathie Black as the new chancellor of the Department of Education. As a member of the New York City Council’s Education Committee, I look forward to working closely with Ms. Black and hearing her vision for New York City schools. I believe that Ms. Black deserves a chance to succeed before others declare that she is a failure. I am especially gratified that she has broken the glass-ceiling of the New York City Department of Education.”

City Councilman Charles Barron (via the NYO): "My concern is not with who is stepping down, it is with who is stepping up. C'mon now. She is not an educator. How many times are we going to make this mistake? She should not be in there. This city has some great educators in the Black and Latino community. It's time to consult those educators."

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