As Cathie Black’s contentious appointment to schools chancellor continues to rile emotions, the city’s public advocate Monday called for a public forum to “mitigate the controversy surrounding” it.
“[We must] give public school parents and all New Yorkers a clear understanding of how she will grapple with the tremendous challenges facing the city’s public schools,” Bill de Blasio wrote in a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who appointed the media exec last week.
Bloomberg’s decision is not final. State Education Commissioner David Steiner still must approve a waiver to let Black bypass the education and three-year teaching requirements. As of Monday, he hadn’t received the waiver application.
A rep for Black, 66, said they’re “focused on the waiver process” to make the appointment official, but wouldn’t say whether Black would partake in a public forum.
De Blasio’s letter comes after Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers said Sunday that Bloomberg “abused his authority.”
“I do not believe that anyone thought the mayor would speak to no one, hide it, keep it a secret, not consult any educational experts and then name someone with no qualifications to be the chancellor,” Mulgrew said, the Daily News reported.
Mulgrew previously said he looked forward to working with Black.
Black’s lack of education experience and the seemingly secretive appointment have many fuming, with some calling it a sign of Bloomberg’s cronyism.
Reps for Bloomberg didn’t return calls for comment.