Deny the Waiver Coalition Statement on the 17% Approval Rating for Unqualified Chancellor Cathie Black

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Deny the Waiver Coalition Statement on the 17% Approval Rating for Unqualified Chancellor Cathie Black

Cathie Black

“Parents understand more and more that Ms. Black is unqualified to be Chancellor”

The NY1/Marist Poll released on Monday, April 4 showing that New York City Chancellor Cathleen P. Black’s public approval rating has fallen to 17% is no surprise to public school parents.

There is little evidence that Black’s reign will be successful by any measure.  Specifically, there has been an exodus of qualified education leaders since Ms. Black’s appointment — which New York’s public school students cannot afford to have happen.

The waiver of education requirements that Cathie Black received from New York State Education Commissioner David Steiner was based in large part on the support she allegedly would be receiving from her Deputy Chancellors — since her own knowledge of education is minimal.

Since Ms. Black’s nomination to become Chancellor, however, three Deputy Chancellors — all involved with critical responsibilities — have resigned their positions.  The most recent departure, that of 22-year veteran Santiago Taveras, Deputy Chancellor for Community Engagement, is the latest loss of an educator with significant and relevant administrative or teaching experience.  The other two Deputy Chancellors who have left the New York City Department of Education are Photeine Anagnostopoulos, Deputy Chancellor for Finance and Technology (November, 2010) and 39-year veteran Eric Nadelstern, Deputy Chancellor for the Division of School Support and Instruction (January, 2011).

Attorney Arthur Schwartz of Advocates for Justice stated that “Commissioner Steiner and one Court insisted that Cathie Black did not need specific expertise due to the amount of support she would have from a knowledgeable team.  As my clients pointed out from the start, however, a team can come apart and then what?”

Schwartz continued.  ”In this case the unqualified team leader, Cathie Black, will be less and less able to provide the strong leadership needed at this time. The real losers are the children, their parents, and all those who truly care about public education in the City of New York.  Our appellate courts still have an opportunity to do the right thing.  A judge can rectify this egregious error first made by Mayor Bloomberg, then compounded by Commissioner Steiner.”  Advocates for Justice is representing the Petitioners challenging Ms. Black’s appointment as Chancellor.

Monica Ayuso, a Queens parent, said, “Unfortunately, I don’t fault any true educator who departs this system during a time when the education of our children has been commandeered by the non-educator. It’s my hope that we won’t lose too many more educators before the system is rid of Ms. Black.”

Mariama Sanoh, a Brooklyn parent, said, “Four months later and Cathie Black’s approval rating is only going down.  Cathie Black must go.  My children deserve a qualified Chancellor who inspires confidence.”

Mona Davids, a Bronx parent at a New York City Department of Education-authorized charter school, stated the following:

“Mayor Bloomberg’s legacy is now complete as the worst education Mayor, and as the Mayor responsible for almost destroying our public education system.  Cathie Black’s appointment confirmed for the world Mayor Bloomberg’s intention of privatizing our school system and highlighted the Mayor’s poor management through failed multi-million dollar no-bid contracts and the use of outside consultants.  Parents understand more and more that Mrs. Black is unqualified to be Chancellor.  That is why her approval rating is down to 17%.”

Noah E. Gotbaum, a Manhattan parent and President of Community Education Council 3, stated the following:

“During these times of fiscal challenge, it is absolutely critical that the Chancellor understands all aspects of our of schools, of teaching and of public education.  Instead, our out-of-touch Mayor has chosen an out-of-touch Chancellor who will spend the next 3 years learning on the job, while deferring important decisions to her shrinking cadre of Deputies.  Parents, teachers, administrators and all New Yorkers know the Mayor has made an enormous mistake in selecting the game but completely unqualified Cathie Black.  The question is, for the sake of our children, will this Mayor ever admit it?”

The Deny the Waiver Coalition will continue to fight to ensure that our children have a qualified Chancellor.  We have not given up our legal fight and will be in appellate court on April 28, even stronger in our conviction that Cathie Black is unqualified to be New York City Schools Chancellor and must be removed.

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Parent Petitioners from the five boroughs are: Assemblyman Jeffries (Brooklyn), Hon. Chris Owens (Brooklyn), Ms. Mona Davids (Bronx), Mr. Noah E. Gotbaum (Manhattan), Ms. Khem Irby (Brooklyn), Ms. Lydia Bellahcene (Brooklyn), Ms. Patricia Connelly (Brooklyn), Ms. Monica Ayuso (Queens), Ms. Mariama Sanoh (Brooklyn), Mr. John Battis (Brooklyn), Ms. Latrina Miley (Manhattan), Ms. Shino Tanikawa-Oglesby (Manhattan) and Ms. Maria Farano-Rodriguez (Staten Island).  The teacher Petitioner is Ms. Julie Cavanagh (Brooklyn).

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CONTACT:

Mona Davids                                            917-340-8987

Noah E. Gotbaum                                    917-658-3213

Lupe Todd (for Assemblyman Jeffries)      917-202-0116

Arthur Z. Schwartz (Attorney)                  917-923-8136

http://www.ourschoolsnyc.org/2011/04/732/