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Calling on More Qualified Officials to Run New York City’s School System

Congressman Edolphus ’Ed‘Towns and Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke express concern with NYC Chancellor Appointee Cathie Black

Brooklyn, NY- Today, U.S. Rep. Edolphus ’Ed‘ Towns ( D-NY-10) and U.S. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke( D- NY-11) expressed their concerns as an education panel evaluates whether or not New York State Education Commissioner David Steiner should grant a waiver for Mrs. Cathie Black’s appointment to become the next New York City Public Schools Chancellor:

“I am deeply concerned over what appears to be a lack of a publicly announced search for a candidate to fill the position of NYC Public Schools Chancellor. While Mayor Bloomberg has a right to choose anyone he wants, the parents and children of our city have a right to a process that is not only transparent, but one that invites all qualified applicants to respond. Cathie Black may be great manager who knows how to balance a budget, however our children also need a Chancellor that has a serious working knowledge of the complexities of education and what it takes to teach our children. If all it takes is a business background–and no experience whatsoever in education to be considered for NYC Schools Chancellor, what kind of message are we sending to students who endeavor to major in this field of study in our nation’s colleges and universities? For the above mentioned reasons, I do not support a waiver from the NYS Education Commissioner to allow Cathie Black to become the next NYC Public Schools Chancellor,” stated Congressman Edolphus Towns.

“Many of my constituents have expressed considerable misgivings about the appointment of Mrs. Cathie Black as Chancellor of the New York City School system. Just like many of my constituents, I am concerned that Mrs. Black’s lack of education experience makes her unqualified for the position. For this reason, I would not support the New York State Education Commissioner in granting a waiver that would allow Mrs. Cathie Black to become the New York City Chancellor,” said Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke. “As a Member of the House Committee on Education and Labor, I will continue to fight for our city’s schools, students, teachers and administrators. We must ensure that our children, who are our future, do not continue to be victims of the ever increasing achievement gap and are able to receive a proper education that will prepare them to lead this nation. That means having our most qualified individuals run our educational system. Mrs. Black’s lack of experience with the complexities of our school system and her lack of background in public school education, will compound what has she has identified as a significant learning curve. What our children really need and deserve is someone who will come in and hit the ground running.”