Mayor Michael Bloomberg Wednesday submitted the waiver application that he hopes will allow his controversial chancellor pick to run city schools even though she lacks education experience.
Opponents, however, will be stepping up the heat on state Education Commissioner David Steiner, who has the ultimate say on whether publishing executive Cathie Black, 66, will get the job. Steiner will form an advisory panel to help him, but has declined to set a timeframe.
If he tosses Bloomberg’s pick, it would be a serious blow to mayoral control of schools, but many opponents argue that what makes her objectionable is her lack of education experience — even outgoing Chancellor Joel Klein had a teaching tour under his belt and was granted a similar waiver in 2002.
In the application, Bloomberg details Black’s managerial experience as head of Hearst Magazines and other top spots in publishing, calling her a “bold thinker who is not afraid to champion new ideas.”
“Ms. Black is exceptionally qualified to make the difficult financial decisions … to ensure that all of our students receive a high-quality education,” Bloomberg wrote.
A dozen City Council members yesterday introduced a resolution asking Steiner to deny the waiver, and a protest is planned for 4:45 p.m. today outside the Tweed Courthouse. Former Mayors Rudy Giuliani, David Dinkins and Ed Koch, however, asked Steiner to approve Bloomberg’s choice.
Leonie Haimson, executive director of Class Size Matters, is worried about the panel Steiner is crafting to help him decide.
“I hope he puts public school parents on it,” she said. “These are our schools and we should have a say in this.”
In Black’s corner:
— Former Mayors Rudy Giuliani, David Dinkins and Ed Koch
— Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz
— Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro
— Former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone, Sr
— A dozen City Council members, including Education Committee Chair Robert Jackson
— United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew
— More than 9,000 parents have signed online petitions
— Manhattan borough President Scott Stringer