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NYC schools chancellor joins de Blasio's defense of mayoral schools control

(L-R) Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina, New York City

(L-R) Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Aimee Horowitz, Executive Superintendent for Renewal Schools, examine the work performed by students during a tour of Automotive High School, one of 94 "renewal schools," on March 25, 2015 in Brooklyn. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Pool

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña Wednesday stood up for her boss' efforts to beat back Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's challenge to mayoral control over education in the five boroughs, saying she wouldn't have accepted her post without it.

"By virtue of the fact that I've had 50 years in education, I have seen every single way of governing schools -- decentralized, centralized, school boards, regional -- I've done it all," Fariña told reporters. "And the reality is, I would never have taken this job at this time if there wasn't mayoral control."

Cuomo has proposed turning control of the city's worst public schools to an outside receiver. De Blasio and Fariña visited one such school, Automotive High School in Brooklyn, to tout the city's gains toward turning them around.

Cuomo has called broader mayoral control of schools -- which then-Mayor Mike Bloomberg secured from Albany in 2002 -- "an experiment," and wants it renewed only for three years.

De Blasio said he's making progress in the "Renewal Schools" program. The Department of Education recently appointed a superintendent to fix the worst schools, created a "war room" and plans to adapt the NYPD's successful CompStat data analysis methods to the task.

De Blasio pointed to a joint letter signed by him and his frequent critic, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, in support of mayoral control.

"This really shouldn't be about politics," de Blasio said.

Cuomo spokeswoman Dani Lever said in a statement, "The governor is committed to enacting an aggressive reform agenda to fix New York's broken education system that spends more per pupil than any other state in the nation while condemning over 250,000 students to failing schools over the last decade."

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