School chancellor shuffle in New York

New York state education commission David M. Steiner called it a "bizarre coincidence" that he announced his resignation from the position on the very same day that New York City schools chancellor Cathleen P. Black also announced she was resigning.

Unlike Steiner, whose resignation will be effective in August, Black's resignation was immediate. There's an even more interesting dynamic between Dr. Steiner and Ms. Black. Ms. Black landed the position of New York City schools chancellor with virtually no education experience--she comes from a publishing background. At that time, Dr. Steiner expressed doubts about Ms. Black's fitness for the position to not only New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, but publicly as well. Her nomination was eventually approved, but three months later, she was gone. Mayor Bloomberg has taken full responsibility for the failure of his appointment of Ms. Black. At this time it's unclear who will replace Dr. Steiner, but a replacement for Ms. Black has already been selected by the mayor and will ultimately need to be approved by Dr. Steiner.


A viable replacement for New York City schools

Dennis M. Walcott, the mayor's named replacement, comes from an education background and has actually spent time in a classroom as a former teacher. He is also a graduate of New York City public schools. He is the current deputy mayor of New York City, but it's a widely held belief that even though Ms. Black was the chancellor in theory, Mr. Walcott was already the chancellor in practice. In Ms. Black's first televised interview, he stood by her side and spoke when she struggled with policy questions, according to the New York Times. James Devor, president of the community education council in Brooklyn's 15th district told the New York Times, "It was no secret he was running the show."

Mr. Walcott has a bachelor's and master's degree in education and a master's in social work, and has even taught kindergarten. "To me, the great equalizer in society is ensuring that every child receives a quality education, especially a quality public education," he told the New York Times.

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