Cathie Black to Step Down as New York City Schools Chancellor

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Cathleen Black (R), the new chancellor of the New York City school system, talks with a teacher during a tour of PS 262 on January 3, 2011

Michael Nagle/Getty Images

After a brief and controversial tenure as New York City’s Schools Chancellor, city officials announced Cathie Black, a former magazine executive with no education experience, will step down Thursday morning.

Black, who replaced former Schools Chancellor Joel Klein in January, has been plagued with fierce public opposition due to her lack of experience since Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced her appointment in November. In a poll conducted by Quinnipiac University less than three weeks ago, her approval rating was a dismal 17%, with nearly half of respondents saying they wished she would leave office.

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Her departure after less than four months in the top spot, comes on the heels of news yesterday that Deputy Schools Chancellor, John White, is headed to Louisiana to take charge of a school district there with 82 low-performing schools. Several other high-level education officials have departed since Black’s appointment.

Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott will reportedly step in to run the public school district, which with 1.1 million students, 1,600 schools and a $21 billion operating budget, is the largest in the nation.

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