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Waiver will be a walk for Walcott, observers predict

Dennis Walcott, the New York City schools chancellor,

Dennis Walcott, the New York City schools chancellor, appears in this undated file photo. Photo Credit: Jason Andrew

Meet the anti-Cathie Black.

Newly appointed schools chief Dennis Walcott was widely praised Thursday as having the chops to run the nation’s largest school system, even as critics lambasted the mayor for again not holding a national search.

Like Black, Walcott, 59, who lacks a school superintendent’s license, will need a state waiver to take the job. Getting one, though, “will be no problem for Dennis,” predicted Councilman Robert Jackson (D-Manhattan).

Walcott, a Queens resident who went to city public schools, as did his children, “has his feet and ears on the ground,” Jackson said.

Walcott also holds master’s degrees in education and social work, taught kindergarten and served on the Board of Education.

Walcott “has the understanding of what it takes to turn failing schools into thriving schools,” said Arva Rice, president of the New York Urban League.

But Michael Meyers of the New York Civil Rights Coalition said, “This is another act of cronyism” by Mayor Michael Bloomberg


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