Yesterday, a group of 15,000 concerned parents, teachers and citizens filed a petition to the state Department of Education, urging Commissioner David Steiner not to approve a waiver that would allow Cathie Black to become the city's next Schools Chancellor. However, many said that 15,000 people is a mere drop in the bucket for a school system comprised of over a million students. Well, how's 62% of parents for you? According to a Quinnipiac poll, 47% of voters disapprove of the appointment, which jumps to 62% when whittled down to parents of children in public schools. Quinnipiac Polling Institute director Maurice Carroll said, "The only positive sign for her is that about one quarter of voters don't know enough to say whether they approve or disapprove of her appointment. So there's some room for the spinners to make Bloomberg's case."
About 51% of voters say they don't think she has enough experience to do the job, and 48% say they disapprove of how Bloomberg is handling the public schools. And despite Bloomberg's argument that Black's business experience makes her completely qualified to run such a complex organization as the city's public schools, 64% of New Yorkers say a Chancellor needs education experience more than management experience.
In Bloomberg's corner you'll find, of course, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who said of the appointment, "Mayoral control gives the mayor the authority. He chose Joel Klein, who I think did a terrific job." Many New Yorkers agree with her; 46% say Klein was a success. A panel gathered to review Black's waiver is scheduled to make its recommendation today, though Steiner is the only one who could grant the waiver.