By Ashley Lutz – Bloomberg News | http://bit.ly/ejDRIH
Tue Nov 30 00:09:47 GMT 2010 - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg won state permission for Cathie Black, a publishing executive, to head the nation’s biggest school system after he proposed appointing a career educator to help her.
Black’s “training, background and experience are substantially equivalent to the certification requirements” needed to do the job, State Education Commissioner David Steiner said today in a decision distributed by e-mail.
Steiner waived a requirement that the chancellor have a background in education, pending her completion of training in preventing child abuse and school violence, according to the decision. Bloomberg told Steiner on Nov. 26 that Black would make Deputy Chancellor Shael Polakow-Suransky the system’s senior deputy and academic chief if her appointment was cleared.
“I find that Ms. Black’s exceptional record of successfully leading complex organizations and achievement of excellence in her endeavors, warrant certification,” Steiner said in the decision.
Bloomberg named Black, 66, as his choice for the job on Nov. 9 after Joel Klein resigned. She’s chairman of the Hearst Corp. unit that produces Esquire, Cosmopolitan and more than a dozen other magazines, capping a lifelong publishing career. An advisory panel named to weigh Black’s qualifications had recommended denying the waiver, according to Steiner’s decision.
“I hope we can move forward on the many challenges the system faces, including creating a curriculum that will give students a well-rounded education, new and better interventions for struggling students, and early action to turn around failing schools,” said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, in an e-mailed statement. The New York- based federation represents about 200,000 members, according to its website.
“It is now time to put politics aside and recognize that it is in the best interest of our children for Cathie Black to succeed as chancellor,” the mayor said today in a statement sent by e-mail. He called Steiner’s decision “the right one for our kids and our schools.”
The New York Times said on Nov. 24 that Steiner would approve Black if Bloomberg appointed an educator to assist her.
Bloomberg said in a letter to Steiner last week that Polakow-Suransky, now deputy chancellor for performance and accountability, “has spent his career working to improve New York City schools on behalf of our highest need students.”
The mayor, who took office in 2002, has three years remaining in what he has said will be his final term. Bloomberg is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News.