Thursday, April 7, 2011


Cathie Black, the magazine executive who took over as New York City Schools Chancellor in November 2010, is out, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday.

Black will be replaced by Dennis Wallcott, deputy mayor for education and community development.

Bloomberg said at a press conference Thursday that he takes full responsibility for the unsuccessful appointment of Black. In a private meeting earlier Thursday, Black had told Bloomberg she wanted to do what's right for the city and step down.

"The story had become about her and it should be about the students," said Bloomberg. "We've got to focus on what's right for the kids."

Black's departure comes on the heels of four high-level four deputies resigning from her office -- two of whom have resigned this week -- and a 17 percent approval rataing according to poll results released Monday.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg came very harsh criticism for appointing Black to the school's top post.

Black, who was the chairman of Hearst Magazines, had little education experience than being on the board of a charter school in the city and her won own Catholic schooling. Her children attend boarding school in 
Connecticut, where she keeps her second home.

In order to have Black appointed to the city's top education post, Bloomberg had to make a deal with New York state's education commissioner. That deal required the creation of a chief academic officer to be Black's second-in-command and guide her in her new position.

Bloomberg also appointed Black's predecessor Joel Klein, who also had no experience in education prior to becoming chancellor, and moved on to a position as executive vice president at News Corporation.

At the time, of his resignation, Bloomberg said Klein's eight-year tenure as schools chancellor was the longest in New York City history.

Walcott is a life-long Queens resident, who went to New York City public schools. His children attended public school in New York City, and his grandchild is currently enrolled in public school.

With over 30 years of education experience, Walcott graduated from University of Bridgeport in Connecticut and has dual Masters in both education and social work from Fordham University.

Bloomberg said the position of chief academic officer will remain during Walcott's tenure.

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