Walcott gets OK from state to head NYC schools

Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott greets members of the student council from P.S. 10 in Brooklyn after a news conference where it was announced he'd been appointed to the position of schools chancellor by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg after Schools Chancellor Cathie Black quit after three months on the job on Thursday, April 7, 2011 in New York. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)

April 14, 2011 8:32:00 AM PDT
New York state's education commissioner has given Dennis Walcott the go-ahead to head New York City's 1.1 million-pupil school system.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed Dennis Walcott as schools chancellor last week after publishing executive Cathie Black resigned.

Walcott needed a waiver from Commissioner David Steiner because he is not a licensed school superintendent.

Steiner said in his decision Thursday that Walcott has had a long and distinguished career and that his knowledge of educational issues is unquestioned.

Walcott is Bloomberg's deputy mayor for education. He has taught kindergarten, headed the Urban League and started a mentoring program for young boys.

Black quit after a rocky three months. She also received a waiver from the state to serve as chancellor although she had no background as an educator.