NYC Gets New Schools Chancellor: Dennis Walcott

The experienced "guy from Queens" and former New York Urban League president will replace a magazine executive with no education background and a 17 percent approval rating.

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Dennis Walcott (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Just days after a poll showed that only 17 percent of New Yorkers approved of the job Cathie Black was doing as New York City public schools chancellor, the Huffington Post reports that she has been let go by the city. Many were skeptical about the former magazine executive's appointment from the beginning because of her lack of experience in education.

She's been booed at several events, including meetings where Department of Education panels voted to close schools. And she didn't win many supporters in January when she jokingly suggested birth control as a solution for overcrowded classrooms.

Deputy Mayor for Education Dennis Walcott is set to take over the post. At a press conference announcing the change today, he described himself as "just a guy from Queens." But he's also been a trusted aide on education policy, taught kindergarten and served as CEO and president of the New York Urban League. He attended the city's public schools and graduated from Francis Lewis High School in Queens. And he has two master's degrees -- one in education from the University of Bridgeport and another in social work from Fordham University.

Twitter is buzzing with the breaking news today. But hopefully the public's focus will soon shift from Black's antics -- and what Bloomberg was thinking when he appointed her in the first place -- to figuring out, under Walcott's leadership, how best to provide the city's kids with the education they deserve.

Read more at NYC.gov and the Huffington Post.

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