Mamie Till Mobley

"There was an important mission for me, to shape so many...young minds as a teacher. God took away one child but...(gave) me thousands. And I have been grateful for the blessing." Mamie Till Mobley

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Court Uphold Waiver For Black. One petitioner appealing it. Stay tune not over yet for Cathie Black

Petitioners likely to appeal the case though Mayor Bloomberg said, "this decision should bring an end to the politicking and grandstanding...focus on what matters most: continuing to improve the quality of education we offer NYC public school children."
Courts Uphold Waiver For Black

The Full Ruling from the NY Post .
An Albany County Acting Supreme Court Judge on Wednesday, December 29 issued a ruling upholding the waiver the State Education Commissioner David Steiner  issued to Cathie Black in November. One of the lawyers and parent Eric Snyder appealing the ruling.
The ruling based on the  "discretionary powers" of the State Education Commissioner to issue the waiver. The other attorneys considering their options.  There may be a good chance ruling today overturned if appealed. If so,  the earliest for another ruling would have to wait until  May or June 2011.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Testing scandal exposes corporate-backed “school reform” in New York

"From 2002 to 2007, average scores on state exams rose from 52 to 74.1 for the state, and from 67.6 to 79.9 for the city. Inflated test scores drove up the positive progress “report card” grades given to schools, 60 percent of which were based on student test scores. In 2009, 84 percent of 1,058 elementary and middle schools received a grade of A, and only two schools received an F. Bloomberg used these figures to get re-elected."

Testing scandal exposes corporate-backed “school reform” in New York

Students protest collective punishment at New York City high school

The World Socialist Web Site interviewed a few NYC Murry Bergtraum high school students after an incident on Thursday December 9th when many of them left their classroom's in reaction to repressive school policies after a fight broke out between two students, the principal suspended the whole school from using the bathroom.
Students protest collective punishment at New York City high school

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Joel Klein greatest success? charter school choices for the poor...

 New York Times interview with outgoing NYC Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and his response to a question about his  greatest success in education.
"Empowering poor people with choice has been a powerful stimulus to reform in this city, and no place more so than in Harlem, quite frankly, where 40 percent of our students now start school in a charter school. And that’s as robust a competitive environment as you’ll see in public education."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

City & state lawyers argued commissioner had the latitude to interpret education regulations as he saw fit."

"City and state lawyers argued that the language allowing Dr. Steiner to waive the graduate course requirement meant he could waive the master’s degree requirement as well, and that he had the latitude to interpret education regulations as he saw fit."

Arguments begin in lawsuits in the case regarding Cathie Black

Albany County Supreme Court judges heard the arguments regarding the case of Cathie Black whether or not the State Commissioner of  Education David Steiner acted appropriately in his decision to grant the controversial waiver because she lacks a graduate degree and qualifications to be the NYC Chancellor.
In the New York Post today Kelly Munkwitz of the state attorney general's office said, "The commissioner interprets the regulation’s requirement for a master’s degree to be waivable — and the commissioner must have the discretion to look at it in context."
What about the procedures for asking for the waiver?  The three lawsuits don't specifically address  this issue  whether the commissioner violated the steps set up in state education law to grant the waiver.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Murdock poaches Klein to cash in on the lucrative federal new market tax credits

"...we're going to see a huge transformation in the field of education and it's going to be driven in terms of innovative solutions by private markets." Rupert Murdock poached Joel Klein to New Corp. for this reason.

David Bloomfield CUNY Professor expert advisor to lawyers challenging Cathie Black Waiver

David Bloomfield, Esq.
Some of the best attorneys in Civil Rights and Education Law advising plaintiffs in State Supreme Court  against the waiver issue granted to Cathie Black to serve as the NYC Schools Chancellor in hearings that commenced this week on Monday.
In a Huffington Post column David Bloomfield, Esq., Chair of the  Department of Education Staten Island, CUNY and Professor of Educational Leadership, Law and Policy, CUNY Graduate Centers to "... serve as an expert advisor to one team of attorneys challenging the certification waiver granted by State Education Commissioner David Steiner." Other attorneys: 
Norman Siegel,  Roger Wareham, Ramon Jimenez and Eric J. Snyder.

















Friday, December 17, 2010

Cathie Black interview 2007 Travis Smiley program

 PBS Interview with Cathie Black in 2007 on the Travis Smiley Show,  watch the video.
"There are times when you hit a roadblock. There are times when you hit a wall. What I want to say is, all right, you really have two simple choices. You can sit there and be angry or be disappointed or become nasty if it's not going to work out for you, or you say, "You know what? I've hit a wall here. It's time for me to polish up my resume, it's time for me to start networking, it's time for me to really evaluate am I really unhappy here, and if so, are the problems mine or are the problems the company or the product," or whatever your responsibility is. So I always like to say pick yourself up by your bootstraps, and move on and find a new situation."

Daley names interim CPS chief - Chicago Sun-Times

Some background on the new chief in this story in the Chicago Sun-Times

Daley names interim CPS chief - Chicago Sun-Times

School board yanks proposals for new charter schools


New Chicago Public Schools (CPS) interim chief, Terry Mazany, the head of the Chicago Community Trust, recently appointed to the helm of the CPS denied the request of nine charter schools to open issuing the statement: "We simply do not have any budget flexibility to allocate dollars that will not lead directly to improved educational outcomes for all of our students."
School board yanks proposals for new charter schools

Thursday, December 16, 2010

School Board member Vivian O. Evans, East District Resigns!

East District School Board member Vivian O. Evans resigned yesterday amid allegations she doesn't live in Buffalo. The Telephone records the Buffalo News requested under FOIL showed she lived in another State since July 2010. Some folks still want to know why the other School Board members (Jacobs & Johnson), including Superintendent James A. Williams who knew about her whereabouts didn't offer much help as they attempted to investigate her residency issue? The telephone records show they were in touch with her eversince she left town.

The School Board has 30 days to fill the vacancy, otherwise, the Mayor to appoint. Evans won by 15 votes against Buffalo State College Professor Theresa A. Harris-Tigg who many believe the reason why the faction on the Board aligned with the Superintendent Williams kept silent about Evans' residency & new place of employment to stop her from filling the seat. If so, the people want to know what happened here, the Board members involved, and why?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cathie Black Skipped Student Press Conference


 Students at Francis Lewis High School  in Queens attend classes in an overcrowded building designed for 2,800 students,  the enrollement is 4,200 today. Overcrowding at the high school one of the issues on the agenda  students wanted to discuss with the incoming Chancellor  Cathie Black. But she never showed up  to the press conference or meeting on Thursday, December 9th at 7 AM at the school. They are among the brightest and academically talented ethnically diverse students in the New York City Schools.
In a  NY1 video   student leaders said,   "Students are lacking in inspiration at a time  when they need it most."Others cited how"students...who live in ...bad neighborhoods who want to go to their zone schools...forced to leave because of violence." And they want to "...understand  what it is (Cathie Black) plans to do about issues ...within...the school system."  They just "want to know her plan." Still others like Khaair Morrison say, "Students are in the classrooms students see the budget cut first hand."
Violence in the schools, the school budget cuts, school closings,  as well as disparities in the curriculum and college prep other issues and concerns  they listed on the flyer.
Instead of meeting with the student leaders,  the NYC Department of Education said the Chancellor could not attend their meeting.  Meanwhile, she visited mostly elementary schools doing  photo op with the pre-school and kindergarten children unlikely to ask her any critical questions.
The parents in June this year received a letter from Joel Klein, NYC Schools Chancellor about the up-coming budget cuts and the  more "shared sacrifices" the students have to continue making. What  would Francis Lewis (1713-1802)  say to the students? He signed the Declaration of Independence active in the Revolutionary movement,  a likely leader of the New York Sons of Liberty, and member of the NY Revolutionary committee that later had helped to set up the State government.
Or the great African-American abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass (1817-1895)words:
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation…want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters…. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."
Frederick Douglass, 1857

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Charlatan" to be Cathie Black on Good Day: She wants to continue raising the bar for NYC Schools. Yet, she got the bar lowered to be Chancellor

In this interview on Thursday, December 9, 2010, she had to guess at the make up of the student population in the NYC Schools because she didn't know when asked about the issue of diversity in the schools. NYC students, staff, teachers, administrators and all those involved with the schools deserve a highly educated well-prepared professional in the field of education not someone Mayor Bloomberg picked from his personal address book so others say of his appointment, "That's it!" The world is watching as Bloomberg and Mrs. Black have made a mockery of the New York City Schools.

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Poll: Is it the proper time for the issues in the Latino Agenda Report to have been disclosed to the Governor-Elect Cuomo?

Poll: Is it the proper time for the issues in the Latino Agenda Report to have been disclosed to the Governor-Elect Cuomo?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

“I’ve got the job; I’ve got the job. I am their chancellor.”

 In a FOX  News interview on Friday, December 10, Mrs. Cathie Black  said, 
 "None of this is productive,” Ms. Black said.
 “I’ve got the job; I’ve got the job. I am their chancellor.”



Photo credit: AP

Hundreds of protesters wearing red assembled in front of the Tweed Courthouse Building 12/2, where the NYC Education Department located. This photo taken early as the demonstrators joined the group, the crowd got larger estimated at over 500, later  in the evening.
"None of this is productive!" according to Chancellor in-waiting, Cathie Black.  Never mind there are three lawsuits pending in  NYS Supreme Court with a hearing date of December 23rd.
The 3 active lawsuits against Cathie Black waiver all have a Court Date appearance on Dec 23, 2010 in Albany Supreme Court.Filed on Dec 3, 2010 by attorney Eric J Snyder. Index#: 008112-2010 in Albany. Eric J Snyder vs. NYS Board of Regents, et al ;Filed on Dec 6, 2010 by attorney Roger Wareham. Index#: 008163-2010 in Albany. Alex Coss vs. NY Board of Regents, et al ;Filed on Dec 7, 2010 by attorney Norman Siegel. Index#: 008212-2010 in Albany. Hakeem Jeffries vs. David Steiner, et al  (Ana Silva, NYT, Comments, City Room, 12/10/10

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Second Lawsuit on Cathie Black Critics hopeful her appointment blocked

Capitol Tonight reporter Liz benjamin announced Cathie Black lawsuit No. 2. Attorneys Norman Siegel and Herbert Teitelbaum submit 2nd lawsuit on behalf of fourteen parents and Assemblyman Hakim  Jeffries a critic of the embattled Chancellor possibly not-to be  Cathie Black submitted to NYS Supreme Court.  It is the 2nd lawsuit challenging her qualifications for job. Here is  the Petitioners' Memorandum of Law in support of their application for Judgement Pursuant to Article 78 and the Verified Petition.
Still, in the first lawsuit attorney Eric Snyder also takes issue with the qualifications of Cathie Black. Yet the lawsuits don't cite the procedural violations in the decision of Commissioner Steiner to accept the application from Mayor Bloomberg instead of the board of education or the Panel for Education Policy in the first place.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Student leader Khaair heads panel interested in meeting with chancellors

A flyer announcing, "students want less criticism and more meaningful dialogue, Khaair Morrison, student advocate with fellow classmates has organized a  youth conference at the Francis Lewis High School to get to know Cathie Black since "she has said that public opposition is based on the fact that we don't know her."
The flyer cited, "in January, she'll be Chancellor and we may have wasted all this time up till then protesting something we don't even have the authority to change." Echoing the words of Cathie Black..."it's time to move forward."
But don't expect to contact him directly there is a telephone number on the flyer to get in touch with "his Pr/manager, who is handling everything," including setting up all his meetings though he has an e-mail address to contact him.
The Panel wants to address issues such as overcrowding, school closings, budget cuts, and disparities in curriculum and college prep.  Mr. Morrison is a motivational speaker, addressing youth conferences, and speaking at colleges in the city such as Hunter and Columbia University.  He made head line news in the spring when the metro authorities had planned to eliminate the free Student Metro Cards.

What Happened to the PEP resolution to request the certificate: Coalition for Public Education at PEP Meeting, Nov. 16th, 2010.

Statement from Patrick Sullivan a member on the Panel for Educational Policy Mayor Bloomberg created to consolidate his power on the NYC Schools:

 "I've been here 3 1/2 years sometimes it feels like a seat on a front row called the Death of Democracy!"

How Mayor Bloomberg, Commissioner of Education Steiner, the city corporation counsel and eight members of PEP hookwink the people of NYC! In this video thanks to the Coalition for Public Education the whole world can tune in and watch how Cathie Black got her  illegal waiver to become the NYC Schools Chancellor.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Michelle Rhee back again

Former Chancellor of the Washington, D.C., Michelle Rhee is flexing her muscle again, leading a newly created political advocacy group Students First. She hopes to raise $1 Billion to promote "transformative reform" in education by supporting laws , politicians, school board candidates, and members of   Congress, hoping to cash in on new changes in campaign finance laws that would allow billionaire philanthropist to pay for her advertisement bills as long as the public ignores the scandal involving her fiance former NBA star Kevin Johnson. Okay, so she doesn't have a squeaky clean background and allegedly covers up things for her long distant beau, but she's Michelle Rhee allowed some dalliances with public education. She worked two years at the Harlem Park Elementary School in Baltimore, Maryland an inner city school where she taped the mouths shut of her black 3rd grade students as she led them to the cafeteria in silence. When the children approached the cafeteria  they  started to pull the tape off their lips along with pieces of flesh as  blood oozed out.
"Yo", I'm not attempting to denigrate the  queen of privatizing public education here she conveyed this story herself to fresh recruits into the Teach for America program that launched her own career in 1996. After teaching two solid years she founded a special program soliciting corporate sponsorship, the New Teacher's Project that provided studies to the Chicago Public Schools on how to recruit the best teachers to inner-city schools. Former D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty  who Billionaire Bill Gates supported lost his re-election bid in November while simultaneously the scandal about Rhee's long distance beau erupted in the pages of the national media along with the child abuse stories. So when the rumors circulated throughout the district about the shady personal life and early public school career of the controversial chancellor she resigned though  her beau's sex scandal and reports of child abuse helped to end her career as a school leader. It is unclear if Ms. Rhee is able to work in a school system due to the child abuse cases later lodged against her when she admitted to taping the mouths of poor black children. So that's why she found another way to rake in money from philanthropist as she has been doing since her early days in the New Teacher's Project.
On the StudentsFirst website and blog it cites, "Right now, teachers all over the country are losing their jobs not because of what they do every day in their classrooms, but because they are newer to a district than others," and they call it "bad educational policies." And one "issue she would tackle, she said, was the practice of laying off teachers, according to their contracts, by seniority rather than classroom effectiveness in the NYTimes story of her "come back." 
She is unfit to be around children yet wants to be the mouth piece of the powerful school privatizing groups paying her the quarter million dollar salary she had grown  accustomed to earning once again pimping herself out for them touted as a big "come back" in the media.
 How else is she going to pay for her extravagant wedding in California to the scandal ridden NBA beau with  President Obama his best man, an aficionado of basketball while U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan chauffeurs the presidential limousine.
Due to bad education policies, great teachers are losing their jobs | StudentsFirst.org

It's the bomb! Cathie sends out an e-mail to all NYC principals

Her appointment still up in the air, a parent initiated a lawsuit this week alleging Cathie Black does not have a Master's degree, a requirement for the position she does not possess, therefore, her waiver should be annulled.  And other lawsuits pending, and questions of whether the waiver is valid considering neither Commissioner David M. Steiner or Mayor Michael Bloomberg followed the procedures in State Education Law to issue her a certificate as a school district administrator. Yet Black's response to  those protesting her secretive appointment is  "let's put all of that aside.  I've this position. Let's "move forward."
And she is moving forward. On Saturday, December 4, the South Bronx School Blog in  "Cathie Black's Baffling Email to Principals" posted the email she sent out to all principals in the NYC Schools.  Black sent out the email on Tuesday,  with the subject "Hello from Cathie Black, thanking the principals for welcoming her into the DOE (Department of Education).  Yet, Art McFarland, a channel 7 newscaster who interviewed Black on Friday reported many of those same principals upset with her appointment as the new chancellor and her lack of credentials in education.
A prominent hedge fund investor Whitney Tilson had received a copy of the e-mail as well, sending it out to all of his hedge fund people,  and his charter schools buddies, having answered too the prayers of the blogger hoping to get a copy of it.
Black started the email by saying, "Now that the State has officially approved the waiver," she "is eager to immerse herself in the exciting work ahead." She said, she is "fully committed to our mission to provide every child in NYC with a high-quality education," though she lacks one herself. And the last thing many of those principals want to hear is that she "took the job--to build on the...progress...of Mayor Bloomberg and Joel Klein. What progress? In what areas?
She writes how in "four decades I devoted my professional life to blazing trails in the magazine and publishing industry." What does it have to do with education?  Why would a highly educated cadre of school administrators want to listen to someone  that for forty years "devoted her life to...magazines and publishing industry?" What trail blazing has she done in education?
While she writes she "intends to proceed in the same way"  in her "up-coming tenure at the DOE (Department of Education) as she did in her former job as a magazine executive. She sees it as her "most important mission." So she needs them (the principals) over the next three years as she transforms the system to put children first.
And she writes, "as you know, I will appoint Shael Polakow-Suransky as Senior Deputy Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer. Hmmm, wonder if she understand the title to create it in the first place. She explains his duties and how he "will serve as my counselor..." She mentions Sharon Greenberger "as my Chief Operating Officer...also serve as my key advisor... Over the next few weeks she'll be working with...all of them to make sure this is a seamless transition." She's excited about getting involved...and beginning to identify areas of improvement...She acknowledges she has "a lot to learn about the inner workings of the system, but confident...her fresh perspective, combined with their deep experiences will help us rise to the challenge of preparing all NYC public school students for college and careers." She "thanks you for your support..look forward to getting to know you."
I'm sure just as bloggers in education are having a field day with the e-mail, the principals are likely scratching their heads saying, huh? And she didn't  mention the teachers in the e-mail only sent it to her underlings, the principals most of them disconcerted about her appointment. In her interview with Art Mcfarland she said  the budget constrained and she doesn't believe in seniority or  tenure and doesn't like the idea of younger inexperienced teachers (she called the one with the fresh ideas ) "last in first out." And in this previous e-mail  casually written she is used the word hello never used the title chancellor sounded as though the principals all her buddies.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Mayor Bloomberg has to appoint another chancellor Cathie Black can not be sworn in as the NYC Chancellor in January

 The Panel for Educational Policy "...the lawless Panel was set up in 2002. Bloomberg did away with a vote for school boards and local school boards. We, the public, have no representation by election of any person currently sitting in positions of deciding our children's futures," wrote Betsy Combier in the NYC Rubber Room Reporter.
If Mayor Bloomberg did away with the board of education the Legislature still "continued" in the Act to amend the Education Law of 2002 and 2010, and the Panel for Educational policy he created has no legal authority because it is not the "board of education" named in the law, the certificate the Commissioner of Education issued to Cathie Black is open to legal challenges and invalid.  The only way for a certificate to be issued to her is through an entity specifically named the "board of education" in the Act to amend the Education Law of 2002 and 2010.
Since Joel Klein steps down at the end of December, the Mayor has to appoint another person that fully has the education and training the Education Law stipulates where an alternative route is not needed as is the case with Mrs. Black who does not meet the qualifications. The request can not come from the Mayor, the procedure set up in Education Law stipulates it has to come from the "board of education" the one dissolved in 2002 replaced with the Panel for Educational Policy.
Commissioner Steiner erred in accepting the request from Mayor Bloomberg to issue a professional certificate to Cathie Black. 

Borough President Stringer attempted to block mayor to submit Black's name directly to Commissioner Steiner

During a meeting Tuesday night (Nov. 16) of the city's Education Policy Panel, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer backed a move that would have blocked the mayor's authority to submit Black's name directly to the State Education Commissioner. But that failed, so the commissioner will now get Black's name and he must decide whether to grant her a waiver because she doesn't have a background in education."

I'm uncertain of what happened here but Borough President Stringer correctly acted here in attempting to block  Mayor Bloomberg from directly submitting the name of Cathie Black to the Commissioner of Education David M. Steiner.  The procedures in NYS Education Law gives this body the authority to request the certificate from the Commissioner. The Education Policy Panel decision to allow the Mayor to directly submit the request violated the procedures set up Education Law.  That's why the Commissioner Steiner erred in his decision to accept it directly from the Mayor issuing a professional certificate to Cathie Black. Until the Commissioner follows the proper procedure that certificate is invalid open to procedural challenges.

The procedure for requesting the certificate:

"the Commissioner of Education at the request of a board of education..., may provide for the issuance of a professional certificate as a school district leader (superintendent of schools)...Prior to the appointment of such individual the board must obtain the approval from the Commissioner.  In its formal request to the department the board must submit its resolution noting...approval of the request..."
Education Law S3003(3) and 8 NYCRR S80-3.10(b) (3) (iii)

And as long as the NYS  Assembly and Senate "maintained" the board of education in the mayoral control legislation it passed 2002 and 2009, it must request the certificate not the mayor though in this case requested on behalf of the mayor.

First TV interview with the NYC Schools "Charlatan" Cathie Black

The Art McFarland, newscaster for  ABC channel 7  interview with NYC Schools Chancellor Cathie Black, Friday, December 3rd, is the 2nd one of a three part interview.

 Mrs. Black provided troubling responses to questions dealing with contract negotiations and teacher tenure/seniority, parroting what someone else trained her to say less the vision of a seasoned educator prepared to take the helm of the largest school system in the nation.

McFarland said, "Publishing executive Cathie Black has led thousands of employees but she's never done business with the kinds of labor unions she will now have to face. The powerful United Teachers Federation still does not have a contract with the city. And in Mrs. Black the UFT may be facing a tough negotiator."

 Mrs. Black said, "there is not a lot of gives to gives. We are very budget constrained."

In the second question asked, "Would you like to see some changes to the system of teacher tenure? Would you like to make it easier for you and your colleagues in the education department to dismiss teachers that don't come up to your standards?"

 "Well first of all that's why we feel very strongly about teacher evaluation. At this point in time a teacher has an S/U at the end of year, a five minute conversation perhaps with the principal satisfactory or unsatisfactory. I couldn't run an organization of 200 people or 2000 people by saying to somebody at the end of year "S" versus "U" nor can I imagine at age 25 or 24 saying to somebody you have life time guarantee for this position. Just show up every day, it's inconceivable. "

"And I don't agree with  last in first out cause... were going to get a lot of the newer, younger fresher ideas that  also have been  serving  in the most disadvantaged communities."

 Mr. McFarland: "That approach ....would... revolutionize the relationship between the city and the teachers union? Are you prepared to take that on?

"We have to make sure that the union is in agreement,  that it is children first. Children first  is really at the heart of what teacher should be doing.  There should be ways  that we can work at this."

"Give me a chance ...I will listen ... ,  I will be out in the community...  get to know me. Don't judge someone that you have never even met."

Friday, December 3, 2010

Protest, rallies and more lawsuits on the Cathie Black appointment

The Brooklyn Ink blog reported over 100 protesters gathered Thursday once more outside the Tweed Courthouse their spirits uplifted when" a group of about fifteen teenage students joined the protest and climbed to the top of the steps, triggering applause from the crowd who gathered at 4 PM" to protest the appointment of media mogul Cathie Black NYC Schools Chancellor. Mayor Micheal Bloomberg appointed her chancellor last month amid an out pour of protest, rallies, demonstrations, on-line petitions with nearly 12,000 signatures.


Attorneys Roger Wareham and Ramon Jimenez representing the Freedom Party in a lawsuit the papers being prepared to file soon.

Law suits starting to come in on the Cathie Black appointment chancellor NYC Schools

Eric J. Snyder, a lawyer and a parent with two children in the NYC public schools  filed the first law suit against the appointment of Cathie Black who Mayor Michael Bloomberg secretively appointed NYC Schools Chancellor in November amid  protests, rallies, and a petition with  nearly 12,000 signatures from different groups in the community.
 In a NYTimes story , "he said Friday that he decided to file this latest suit because he was concerned that a school system run by Ms. Black would continue to emphasize standardized testing to the exclusion of a broader, more creative curriculum for his two children, Zoe, a seventh grader at Middle School 51, and Gregory, a 10th grader at La Guardia High School for the performing arts."
Attorney Snyder is a partner in the law firm of Wilk Auslander specializing in creditors' rights and bankruptcy reorganization.



Still protesting Cathie Black? "None of this going to change the outcome..."


Chancellor to be Cathie Black spoke out on Friday told the media the secretive process the Mayor Bloomberg used to select her "irrelevant" to the groups protesting and criticizing her back door appointment. 
She told the NYDaily news , she had three words for her critics: "Let's go forward. None of this is going to change the outcome..."
 Never mind nearly 12,000 signed a petition protesting her clandestine appointment, the rallies, protests, and the polls indicating not only the people of NYC, but most parents would prefer to have someone from the field of education at the helm of the NYC schools. 
Her response typical of someone who spent most of her life in a corporation where shared decision-making found in educational institutions foreign to the still would be chancellor demoted herself in June as President of the Hearst magazines to one with less responsibilities.

She managed 2,000 at Hearst and Bloomberg calls her a "world class manager" ready to take on one of the largest public school systems in the nation with a $23 billion dollar budget, 80,000 employees, 1,400 schools, and absolutely no background in public education or the management of schools.

Deny Waiver Coalition Protests against Cathie Black Appointment

Photo credits: Holly Van Voast via album of P. Connelly
C. Barron tagged on Facebook:

Fix Our Public Schools Don't Privatize
C is for CRONY
Cathie Black Must Go Not License Not an Educator!

Commissioner Steiner erred in decision by accepting waiver request from Mayor instead of the Board of Education

The board of education of the city school district of the city of New York, a board of education, school board,  a Panel for Educational Policy,  the Education Policy Panel or the Mayor Bloomberg  rubber-stamp Education Policy Panel according to NYS Education Law is the body that should have requested the Commissioner of Education to issue a certificate to Cathie Black not the Mayor.
Thus, the formal request to Commissioner David Steiner for the issuance of a professional certificate  for Cathie Black  in order to comply with the procedures set up in the Law should have been submitted by this entity still "maintained" in the mayoral control laws the Legislature passed in 2002 and 2009.
NYS Education Law is clear as to what entity has the legal right to request the issuance of a professional certificate as a school district leader (superintendent of schools) to exceptionally qualified persons who do not meet all of the graduate course or school teaching requirements...)
In the case of NYC Schools under Mayoral control since 2002 and again extended in 2009,  prior to making the appointment( of chancellor) "the board must obtain the approval of the Commissioner.  In its formal request to the Department, the board must submit its resolution, noting approval of the request, the job description, its rational for requesting the certificate of the individual, etc.
The Education Policy Panel in replacing the board of education under mayoral control in 2002, still by law the Mayor  appoints eight and the borough presidents one each for a total number of thirteen members. Certainly, with a majority of the members appointed by the Mayor the request from this body should not present a problem for the Mayor, but it is through this entity the request for the issuance of a certificate has to be made. The Mayor still chooses, the procedure is only a matter of formality to comply with NYS Education law, but it is the procedure set up to request a certificate.


(S5887 and  A8903A)
 In August 6, 2009 by an Act to amend the education law, in relation to the New York City board of education, chancellor,...to amend chapter 91 of the laws of 2002...  
1. Section 2590-b
" 1. (a) The board of education of the city school district of the city of New York is hereby continued.  Such board of education shall;.. consist of thirteen appointed members: one member...to be appointed by...each borough president of the city of New York; ...and eight...members to be appointed by the mayor of the city of New York.... The chancellor shall serve as an ex-officio non-voting member of  the city board."
In his decision, Commissioner Steiner,  while acknowledging that education law requires the "board of education" should make the request  to the commissioner for the superintendent's certificate, the provision must be read in the context of the changes made  in 2002 by the Legislature in the governance of the NYC Schools. Chapter 91 of the laws enacted on June 14, 2002, transferred from the Board of Education to the Mayor of the City of New York, the authority to appoint the chancellor of the New York City Schools and also made the chancellor directly accountable to the mayor at whose pleasure the chancellor serves (Chapter 91 of the Laws of 2002 s12 (see also chapter 345 of the laws of 2009) In light of these provisions (mayoral control) it is proper that the Mayor present the application for a school district leader certificate be made by the Mayor."
The Mayor may have the authority to appoint the chancellor at whose pleasure the individual serves but the request for the certificate has to conform to the education law that stipulates it has to be made by the board of education "continued" as well by the Legislature. The Mayor can appoint whomever he wants but this procedure must be followed though only as legal technicality to comply with the law.
In his Decision to grant the waiver, State Education Commissioner, 




Steiner wrote:
"In the Matter of the application of the Mayor of the City of New York for the issuance of Cathleen P. Black of a certificate for service as a school district leader.

Instead should read:
"In the matter of the request of the Board of Education City of New York or (Panel for Educational Policy) for the issuance of Cathleen P. Black  a certificate for service as a school district leader."
And, it might sound "proper" to Commissioner Steiner, but the law requires the board of education to request the certificate not the mayor though he's empowered through mayoral control legislation to appoint the chancellor (notwithstanding he complies  with education and certificate requirements, as well as,  Equal Employment Opportunity laws) to serve at his pleasure.

Mrs. Cathie Black to be appointed NYC Schools Chancellor whether she is qualified or not, the procedures in the statutes must be adhered to and followed in order for her appointment to be a legal one.
Thus, the Board of Education though diminished powers and role is still intact or "continued" through legislation (2002, 2009) it must make the request for the certificate on behalf of the Mayor. 



Recalling Mayor Bloomberg and Temporary Restraining Order Action possibly sought on the Cathie Black Appointment

Groups meeting on Monday in Brooklyn laid out a plan of action to continue protests against the NYC Schools Chancellor-appointed, Media mogul Cathie Black. The plans consist of the following according to the African-American  the NY Amsterdam News:  

  1.  a TRO (temporary restraining order) and file an Article 78 in court this week against Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Steiner.” 
  2. Hold regular mass protests in front of the Tweed Building. The first demonstration Thursday [December 2] at 4 p.m.,” Tweed Bldg.
  3.  Hold mass protests in front of the homes of Mayor Bloomberg, Commission Steiner and Cathie Black.
  4.  Demand an end to mayoral control of schools and stop Bloomberg’s atrocious abuse of power. 
  5.  Exploring the possibility of a boycott of the schools. 
  6. Looking into the legal avenues to see what could be done, if anything, to recall the mayor. 
    Groups and individuals attending meeting:The Freedom Party, Deny Waiver Coalition, CEMOTAP (Committee to Eliminate Media Offensive to Afrikan People) co-founder Dr. James McIntosh, radio personality Bob Law, Civil Rights attorneys,  Roger Wareham, Norman Siegel , City Council Members,  Jumaane Williams, Charles Barron, Activist Viola Plummer, retired educator Jitu Weusi.

    A protest rally planned Thursday, Dec. 2, Tweed Bldg, 4PM.

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    Protest against Cathie Black continues

    Now that State Education Commissioner David Steiner granted the waiver to Cathie Black for NYS Schools Commissioner folks being told to move on it's over.

    But the battle wages on so wear a  RED gear, outfit, something the color Red to show your solidarity with those continuing to protest the appointment of Cathie Black.  The protest is tomorrow, Thursday, December 2, 2010 at the Tweed Courthouse bldg, Chambers Street, between Centre & Broadway at 4PM.A legal challenge still pending as the groups disagreeing with her appointment as Chancellor looking at all their options to mount one.

    So "Keep Hope Alive!"

    Cathie Black: Education Sarah Palin ask Prof. Gary Anderson


    The president of New York University York University  signed a letter of support for NYC Schools Chancellor to be Cathie Black, but Gary Anderson, Professor of Education at NYU shared a different perspective  about her in the Huffington Post. 
      "...Steiner, though should know better. Unfortunately, although steeped in philosophy and educational theory, he shares Bloomberg's corporate ideology, and apparently is ultimately a political animal.  He thinks John Dewey was wrong-headed and that he recanted his life's work. Instead of blaming exploding rates of inequality, concentrated poverty, and unemployment for the plight of inner-city youth, he blames progressive educators--progressive both in the Deweyian sense of "child-centered" and in the sense of "left-liberal."

    Chancellor to be troubling past on Coca Cola board

    Cathie Black knows more about unions and schools as a former member of the Coca Cola Company board of directors public issues and diversity committee, but its not the type you would like to know about related to the human rights record of the company around the globe in Latin America, as well as, questionable tactics used to supply the beverage to schools districts around the country.  NY Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez writes about the shady past of Mrs. Black in "A Closer look at new schools chancellor Cathie Black's resume shows troubling link to Coca-Cola."

    Tuesday, November 30, 2010

    Cathie Black to do the chopping for Bloomberg plan for massive teacher cuts & projected layoffs

    "New York’s billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled plans Thursday (Nov. 18) for eliminating the jobs of 10,000 city workers and slashing spending by nearly $1.6 billion. Bearing the brunt of the attacks are the city’s schools. The school system is facing the elimination of 6,166 teachers’ and other education jobs, out of a total workforce of 135,000."

    Cathie Black the New Chancellor NYC Schools picked to continue reforms

    "New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s choice of media executive Cathleen P. Black to succeed Joel Klein as head of the country’s largest school system underscores the determination of the US ruling elite to step up its attack on public education. Black, the chairwoman of Hearst magazines and an old friend and neighbor of the billionaire mayor on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, has no educational experience whatsoever."

    Sunday, November 28, 2010

    The battle wages on the Deny Waiver Coalition press conference Sunday


    The Deny Waiver Coalition organized a press conference  on Sunday, November 28, at 2PM on the steps of the Tweed Courthouse building, 52 Chambers St.  Parents speaking out against the deal to grant a waiver for Cathleen Black. Contacts:Chris Owens: 646-450-3552 & Mona Davids: 917-340-8987 info@denywaiver.com

    Court challenge likely if Commissioner Steiner issues a waiver to Cathie Black. Some lawmakers introducing bill to repeal waiver.


    The hoopla and all the commotion Mayor Micheal Bloomberg caused when he hastily appointed Cathleen P. Black the 2nd NYC Schools Chancellor spurred some lawmakers to make changes in the NYS education law granting such a waiver.
    Commissioner of Education David M. Steiner expected to grant the waiver to the nearly septuagenarian Mrs. Black on Monday after a compromise many in both the political and legal community viewed as illegal.
    The reason is that Mrs. Black does not have the requirements specified in State Education Law 3003(3) and 8 NYCRR Part 80-3.10(b)(3)(iii) that authorizes the Commissioner of Education Steiner to grant a certificate to a candidate  "whose exceptional training and experience are the substantial equivalent of such requirements and qualify such persons (s) for the duties of a superintendent of schools."
     Mrs. Black, a media mogul, former President of the Hearst Magazines" has "exceptional training and experience" the State Education Law stipulates but it's not in the field of education nor has this experience been in the public sector in a field related to education.
    Hence, to say her media/advertising background is "the substantial equivalent of such requirements" to qualify her for "the duties of a superintendent of schools" is not only disingenuous but a violation of the statute.
     Some elected officials have publicly announced legal challenges to the waiver Commissioner of Education Steiner plans to issue to Mrs. Black on Monday. It appears they have a case to move forward with a legal challenge to the waiver after it's issued based on State Education Law.
     In this case if Mrs. Black issued the waiver  a legal challenge might be the only recourse to follow.  Therefore, it's up to the courts to interpret the meaning and significance of the statute in light of the candidacy of Mrs. Black if issued a waiver to perform the duties of a Superintendent of Schools in New York State.
    The public has the right to know if  Mrs. Black's training and experiences in the media are "the substantial equivalent of such requirements to qualify her to perform the duties of the superintendent/chancellor of the NYC Schools. Although the public viewed a redacted copy of her high school and college transcripts as the case potentially moves into the legal arena it must be disclosed along with her resume and all of the information involving this case, including the decision of the eight panelist four voting not to recommend the waiver to the commissioner. Since NYS taxpayers are paying for those  "substantially equivalent" training and experience, the public has the right to know exactly how her background complies with the law.

    S8516 - NY Senate Open Legislation - Relates to qualifcations of superintendents; REPEALER - New York State Senate

    Saturday, November 27, 2010

    Lawmakers threaten to fight Black's appointment in court called it illegal


    Assembly Member Hakeem Jeffries
    speaking in the Assembly Chambers

    "It's unfortunate that in order to give the mayor his way, Steiner is willing to designate a chauffeur who can usher Ms. Black around the Education Department," said Assemblyman Hakeem Jefferies (D-Brooklyn). "The only problem is the chauffeur is more qualified to lead the school system than Ms. Black."


    The corporate takeover of American schools


    "The trend for appointing CEOs to the top jobs is symptomatic of a declining commitment to public education and social justice...incoming Chancellor Cathleen P Black (New York) – reflect a trust in CEO-style leadership for education management and reform. In the US, achievement gaps and failure in state schools reflect larger inequalities in society, as well as dysfunction in corporate, consumer culture."   Paul Thomas guardian.co.uk,

    Murdoch Grips a hold on the Ed-Tech Market

    Rupert Murdoch
    It's all in the family, Cathie Black the new Chancellor of the NYC Schools worked for Rupert Murdoch rumored she picked up his way of managing people and things way back when she just started her career as a magazine advertising executive. Cathie Black, Chancellor, former Joel Klein moves to a new position at News Corp Murdoch created just for him.  The company Murdoch purchased  90 shares, the Wireless Generation "offers ed-tech software, systems, and services to 200,000 educators and more than 3 million students, Education Week found out in its website.


    And of course we know where all this conversation is going as Murdoch himself said, "When it comes to K through 12 education, we see a $500 billion sector in the U.S. alone that is waiting desperately to be transformed by big breakthroughs that extend the reach of great teaching,"  chairman and CEO of News Corp.


    Cathie Black, she told the media Friday, "stay tuned."
    photo credit: NY Times
    With Cathie Black in charge of procurement contracts for the NYC Schools that extension would be a far-reaching one for Murdoch and the most profitable for him yet.  Mike Klonsky Small Talk Blog stated, Wireless is is a key partner to New York City’s Department of Education on its Achievement Reporting and Innovation System (ARIS) as well as on the City’s School of One initiative."
    Black will have no time for educational matters never the intention of her appointment as things unfold of the  real intent of why appointed in the first place.

    Friday, November 26, 2010

    Commissioner Steiner to issue a waiver for Cathie Black to become NYC Schools Chancellor on Monday

    State education commissioner, David M. Steiner buckled to the demands of Mayor  Michael Bloomberg plans to issue on Monday the waiver to Cathie Black to be the 2nd NYC Schools Chancellor under mayoral control as reported in the NYTimes today.

    A 38-year-old career educator, Shael Polakow-Suransky, a former high school principal described as a "top official at the city's Department of Education" to be named  to a chief academic officer position being created for him in a deal  Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch had helped to broker. Even the ex basketball player turned U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan meddled in the negotiations, communicating with both Steiner and the Mayor his approval of the deal.

    The media indicated many of the job duties listed on the newly created position "would normally fall to the head of a school system" meaning the chancellor. And the 10 page letter Bloomberg sent to Steiner simply reiterates the first one asking for the waiver except the newly created job for Mr. Polakow-Suransky attached. Senior Deputy Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer sounds like too much responsibility for someone as young as Mr. Polakow-Suransky only obtaining his School District Administrator certificate in 2006, while only two years ago in 2008 trained at the Broad Superintendent's Academy.

     Again, why hurry the process to place someone into this position another white person  2nd in command in a city school district as diverse as the NYC Schools with 80% minority students? Why not search for other candidates for this new job? Interestingly, Mr. Polakow-Suransky is a fellow of  the Broad Superintendency Academy  that billionaire Eli Broad founded in 2002, "to transform urban school districts into effective public enterprises..."

    Some critics in the press already viewed his job as a gofer between Bloomberg and the  nearly septuagenarian Cathie Black at  66,  the former executive of Hearst Magazine. And State Assemblyman Hakeem S. Jeffries, opposed to the arrangement publicly said, "he would pursue a legal challenge." Others like "City Councilman Jumaane Williams said he had hoped the mayor would scrap Ms. Black’s nomination altogether." Also, blogger and educator Mike Klonsky Small Talk blog had an interesting write up about the controversy.

    This battle is not over those 11,000 people who signed the petition don't plan to give up the fight. Commissioner Steiner's decision to give Black the waiver added credence to her opponents previously whom alleged the appointment a done deal from the beginning. And  from the first day Mrs. Black already acted like a chancellor after the Mayor appointed her wasted no time obtaining a NYC department of education e-mail address meeting with the officials and deputies in the New York City  Department of Education.

    Even though four of the eight member panel didn't recommend  her  for a waiver, Mrs. Black decided she needed an assistant according to  the letter Bloomberg sent to Commissioner Steiner and he said it was her idea to choose Mr. Polakow-Suransky because she  decided she wanted only one person reporting to her directly. I'm wondering what those twelve deputies  policy-makers think about how she already set-up this chain of command without consulting them?

    Commissioner Steiner assumed his official duties on October 1, 2009,  after the NYS Board of Regents elect him NYS Education Commissioner and President of the University of the State of New York.

    This controversy showed that mayoral control has to be revisited too much power has been invested in one individual politician with little  input from the public and others with vested interest in public education in NYC. And the advocates of privatization fully entrenched in the  education system in New York State from the State Education Department, the Regents, to the NYC Schools in its new Chancellor Cathie Black

    Yet, one of her critics issued a letter regarding her role as a board member in the Coca Cola Company saying, she "lacks the integrity and compassion to serve as Chancellor or a role model for young people," because the corporation was run "like a criminal syndicate with impunity."

    And, "Cathleen Black and the company have profited greatly by aggressively marketing to children nutritionally worthless and damaging beverages that help fuel the obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes epidemics,"  Ray Rogers, director of The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke signed the letter.
    Some believe when the conversation turns to her role on the Coca Cola board Mrs. Black may not be able to ask for an apology as easily as the one involving her controversial appointment as the NYC Schools Chancellor.
    Ironically in light of the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke and the long nearly 20 year tenure Mrs. Black had on the board of directors,  Bloomberg's letter indicated in small print on the bottom Mrs. Black  still has to take up her child abuse training credit hours and a violence prevention workshop

    Whitney Tilson (3rd background)

    Whitney Tilson (3rd background)
    "Let’s be honest: we need a lot more well-off, well-educated white folks with a personal stake in both charter schools and education reform in general if we’re going to take reform to the next level, both politically and operationally.Whitney Tilson, hedge fund manager and major funding angel for the school privatizing Democrats for Education Reform, thinks there’s not enough rich, educated white folks.( Preaprez) click photo to his blog.

    Arne Duncan

    Arne Duncan
    U.S. Secretary of Education, click photo