Civil Rights Advocates Dismayed With NYC's Schools Chief Choice
(L/R) Micheal Meyers, Norman Siegel
By Black Radio Network Staff
NEW YORK - Civil rights advocates in New York City are expressing outrage over Mayor Michael Bloomberg's surprise appointment of Hearst magazine president Cathie Black to be the next head of the City's public school system, the largest in the nation.
Black, who has no background as an educator, had her own children attend a private boarding school. She would replace Joel Klein who is resigning to take a job with News Corp.
Leading the opposition is noted civil rights attorney Norman Siegel and Michael Meyers, executive director of the New York Civil Rights Coalition. At a press conference outside the Department of Education in Lower Manhattan, they called upon the State's Education Commissioner to deny Black a needed qualification waiver to head the City's 1.1 million student public school system.
"This selection was made without a public search for the best qualified candidate," said Siegel, adding "this violates equal employment opportunity principles."
Meyers charged the decision by the Mayor raises the specter of cronyism "at a time when minority group children in particular are not performing at grade levels." He stressed the importance of "someone at the helm who can deal with these issues and has the expertise and authority to correct the situation."
Both men called Cathie Black totally unqualified for the powerful position and vowed to mount a campaign to defeat her selection.