Brooklyn, NY – Senator Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn) called upon Commissioner David Steiner of the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to deny Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Cathie Black's request for her to receive a waiver, allowing her to serve as the Chancellor of New York City's Schools despite lacking professional experience in education.
“Doctors run New York’s health department, attorneys run the Attorney General’s office, and first responders run our emergency response agencies,” said Senator Parker. “We choose professionals with significant experience in the type of job they are about to undertake for a reason. It is time we remembered that our schools deserve that same level of care and professionalism.”
Pursuant to Article 52 New York Education Law §2590-H, the Chancellor of New York City’s schools has 51 powers and duties including promulgating minimum educational standards, curriculum requirements, and mandatory educational objectives. The Chancellor is also entrusted with developing a plan to establish comprehensive high schools for New York City, analyzing the impact of proposed school closings, and appointing teachers’ aides. In sum, the Chancellor of New York City’s schools plays a vital part in making sure New York City schools adequately prepare our 1.1 million students, to be productive participants in today’s global society.
In these times of declining budgets and fiscal challenge, New York cannot afford to give its schools anything less than the best leader the education profession has to offer. Despite Ms. Black’s undeniably impressive accomplishments in business, and the important opportunity to smash a “glass ceiling” by appointing the first woman to run New York City’s schools, I believe the success of our schools is too important to place in the hands of someone with no professional experience in the area of education.