No Cathie Black waiver unless she has help: Commish David Steiner
In a huge and surprising blow to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a state advisory panel said his pick for schools chief doesn’t make the grade.What’s more, the official who has the final say reportedly won’t back controversial publishing exec Cathie Black unless she gets help from someone with serious education chops. The eight-person panel, which met yesterday, voted down the waiver to let Black bypass the education background requirement for the job in a 4-2 vote, with two others voting “not at this time.” Though Education Commissioner David Steiner has the final decision, reports said he’ll deny the waiver unless an educator is appointed to help Black run the system. Representatives for Steiner and Bloomberg declined to comment. A rep for Black didn’t return requests for comment. Michael Meyers, executive director of the New York Civil Rights Coalition, which opposes the appointment, said Steiner’s condition still renders Black unacceptable. “Would you put a pilot in the cockpit and have the pilot depend on the co-pilot? No,” he said. “The chancellor must have the knowledge and experience to call the shots.” The rebuke came as a Quinnipiac University poll found that 62 percent of voters with children in public schools think Black is unqualified to be chancellor. The appointment has roiled Bloomberg, dropping his approval ratings to a five-year low at 55 percent, the poll said. Still, he believes in Black. “This is not a popularity contest,” he said about the poll, released before the panel’s findings. “It’s going to be tough … but I think we’ve chosen the right person to take us forward,” he said.