State Senator-elect Tony Avella apparently doesn’t shy away from a fight. Despite not yet having been sworn in, Avella has already made his feelings about incoming city Schools Chancellor Cathie Black known. In a letter to the state Education Commissioner, he advises against granting Ms. Black a waiver:
While I’m sure that Ms. Black is a very well qualified executive in the magazine industry, the top executive in the New York City School system should be an educator
I firmly believe that the chancellor should be a person who understands how to develop curriculum, who understands the value of parental involvement, and who understands what principals, teachers and students go through on a daily basis.
State law requires that Schools Chancellors be certified superintendents hold a professional certificate in educational leadership and have at least three years’ experience in schools, but they can be granted a waiver by the Education Department. Outgoing Schools Chancellor Joel Klein also had to be issued a waiver when he took over the job eight years ago.