News From Senate President Pro Tempore Malcolm A. Smith

Malcolm A. Smith

November 10, 2010


“I want to be one of the first to thank Joel Klein for his commitment and

dedication to our children during his tenure as schools chancellor. I can

say from experience that no matter when I called he was always quick to

respond or meet whether the issue was charter schools or public school

safety. But like many New Yorkers I must admit I was  surprised by Mayor

Michael Bloomberg's choice of Catherine Black as Schools Chancellor. While

I am concerned that she does not have a background in education, I am also

encouraged that she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from

corporate America that can benefit our children. With the help of our

teachers, who I believe are the best in the nation, our new schools

chancellor will be challenged with reforming an antiquated school system

that simply must do better if our children and country are to compete in

the rapidly changing global marketplace of the 21st century. And let's be

honest, this is not an easy task. Former Chancellor Klein started the

painful process of reforming our schools with the weight of full mayoral

control. Now that work must be continued. While I am a staunch supporter of

charter schools, our public schools must continue to receive the attention

and resources to improve. This is not about pedigree or personalities but

the ability to produce results for our children. I commend our new schools

chancellor for taking on this difficult challenge of transforming our

schools, students and test scores into the best in the nation. But more

than wishing her good luck we must all accept this challenge of educating

our children.”






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