State Education Commissioner Selects Advisory Panel To Consider Black Waiver
By: Lindsey Christ, NY1
The head of the state Department of Education named on Friday an eight-member panel to screen publishing executive Cathie Black, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's selection for schools chancellor.
By law, the state education commissioner must grant a waiver to a chancellor candidate who does not have the experience required.
Earlier this week, Bloomberg sent State Education Commissioner David Steiner a request for that waiver that would allow Black to serve.
To help make the decision on whether to grant the exception, Steiner has convened a panel to be led by Dr. Susan Fuhrman, president of Teachers College. She has received tens of millions of dollars in city Department of Education contracts, including one worth $16 million signed this year.
Three of these eight panelists worked directly for outgoing Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, as some of his closest advisors.
Dr. Andres Alonso, who is currently the CEO of Baltimore's schools, served under Klein as the chief of staff and then deputy chancellor for teaching and learning.
Michele Cahill of the Carnegie Corporation was Klein's senior policy counselor and a member of his leadership team responsible for reorganizing the entire system.
All three left Klein's administration in 2007.
Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New York Historical Society and former CUNY chancellor, is on the board of the Leadership Academy, which was founded by the mayor and outgoing chancellor.
|Dr. Robert Ferguson|
A spokesperson for the state DOE said the agency values the panelists' experience, saying, "Naturally, it was important to have panelists with New York City school system knowledge and experience."
Cahill also has personal experience with the waiver process. In 2004, Klein sought a waiver for Cahill to become a deputy chancellor, although she had little experience as an educator. The state turned him down.
When Klein was appointed to be chancellor, he also needed a waiver.
Steiner has not given a timeline for when the waiver process for Black will be completed.
Andres Alonso Alienates Baltimore Teachers
It took Andres Alonso about 2 minutes of leading the Baltimore school system to alienate the teacher union - following the Plan. Expect the same to happen in Washington with another Klein acolyte running things. Note that teachers are fighting back by refusing to work the extra hours. After working in NY as Klein's assistant, Alonso is unfamiliar with unions that aren't interested in collaborating.
City Teachers To Picket Over Planning Time
BALTIMORE -- Baltimore city school teachers concerned about their contracts are planning to set up what they call informational pickets. They said the goal of the picketing is to put pressure on the administration to sign on the dotted line. City teachers agreed over the summer to work only those hours called for in the contract, refusing to take part in before- and after-school activities. The teacher's union is currently vowing to go a step further by setting up informational pickets this week outside at least three schools. "It will inform the public. We will be asking them to contact the school board in support of us, and let them know that teachers in Baltimore city are working without a contact, and they are to support this effort," said Marietta English of the Baltimore City Teacher's Union. The union said the main sticking point in the contract is teacher planning time. City School Chief Executive Officer Dr. Andres Alonso said that the contract dispute really boils down to a simple request by the administration. "The board and I have asked for one planning period a week to be used for common planning time or professional development at the discretion of the principal. I hear I'm trying to take away planning time. That's ridiculous," he said. "We are talking about planning time, time that is precious to teachers and time that they need to plan their lessons to mark papers to get prepared for the next class," English said. The union said that until there's a new agreement, teachers will continue to work by the terms of their old contract. WBAL TV 11 News learned that the Baltimore city teachers union is not pleased with the school board or Alonso. The union said it is prepared to take a vote of no confidence as it relates to the contract controversy.
Posted by Norm @ ed notes online at 7:16 AM