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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


  1. I had heard for years that the Bronx's own, Eric Nadelstern, was the Chancellor in waiting. I guess being a professionally trained educator and proven leader counts for very little in Mr. Bloomberg's estimation. What sort of message does this send? Work hard and get the highest level of training in your field and Bloomberg will skip you over for someone he met on his cocktail party circuit. Maybe people like Nadelstern should go work for a media company and they will get a chance to come back to serve in the school system?

  2. The reason there are standards on hiring a chancellor are to prevent exactly what Mayor Bloomberg is trying to do. The State Dept. of Ed must not bend the rules to allow Cathie Black to serve as chancellor. If they do, then they are making a mockery of their own mission and education in the state and city of NY. Why have the rules in the first place? This is PRECISELY what they are designed to prevent

  3. And what exactly was Ms. Gibson's experience that qualified her to be an Assmblymember when she was first elected??? Why not give the woman a chance before you shut her down because she doesn't have "experience". Wasn't this the kind of thinking that prevented many minorities from moving up because they didn't have "experience?" Our Albany government sure has experience and that really hasn't turned out so well now,has it?

  4. "...without neither substantial nor comprehensive educational ..."

    Isn't "without neither..." a double negative?

    Pots and kettles, son.

  5. Eric drank the cool-aid and he was a fool in thinking that they play by the rules. I'm not sad that he was not considered. As for Ms. Black, I think that the Commissioner will havea tough time selling the idea of rigor for students and teachers if he grants the waiver.

  6. I have to say that I side with Democrats for Education Reform on this issue. Having someone who isn't an institutionalized member of the DOE or UFT has to be a good thing. Our school system in New York City is below par and has been for a long time. Change is good.

  7. There are problems with our legal system -- let's nominate someone who ran a media company to be the next Attorney General or Corporation Counsel. Same basic logic

    There are plenty of well-trained educators who think outside institutional confines. This nomination is an insult to people who take education seriously.

  8. Being an administrator is very different than being an educator or prosecutor. If you fail to cognate the difference, I do not know what to tell you.

  9. Further, I would even suggest changing the requirements for obtaining a teacher's license. How about this: civil service exams? A complete fool can go through the motions to obtain a bachelor's degree in education management or childhood education. That does not make them a good teacher. Make it a civil servant process where people with the highest test scores get accepted -- degree in education or whatever else. Of course the test should focus on education related subject matter, but that does not require a degree in education.


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