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Despite compromise, some still unhappy with Cathie Back as chancellor



The deal to save Cathie Black’s appointment by giving her an educator sidekick hasn’t placated critics, who are organizing new protests and preparing legal action.

“This isn’t a compromise, this is absurd,” said Councilman Charles Barron (D-Brooklyn). “We’re setting a dangerous precedent when we say someone can be totally unqualified but they can ride on someone else’s credentials.”

Barron is holding a rally Monday at 6 p.m. at 456 Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn to talk with parents, education activists and lawyers to devise a legal strategy against Black, which may include a temporary restraining order to keep her out.

Bloomberg made the deal after Education Commissioner David Steiner, who decides whether Black, 66, gets the job, said he wouldn’t approve her unless she had an educator for a second-in-command. Shael Polakow-Suransky would serve as Black’s chief academic officer. Steiner is expected to announce his decision today.

Black has spent her career in publishing, most recently as Hearst Magazines head. If approved, she’ll start Jan. 1 after current chancellor Joel Klein steps down.

Michael Meyers, executive director of the New York Civil Rights Coalition, blasted the deal as a “scam and a sham.” And parents and educators protested again yesterday at Tweed Courthouse, where numerous protests have happened.

Department of Education spokeswoman Natalie Ravitz declined to comment on potential legal action, but said, “It’s time to put politics aside and recognize that it’s in all our kids’ interest for Cathie Black to succeed as our next chancellor.”


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