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No Honeymoon For New NYC Schools Chancellor

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NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott (credit: AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)

NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott (credit: AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The incoming New York City schools chancellor, Dennis Walcott, will have no honeymoon as he meets with parents, school administrators and officials both here in the City and in Albany this week.

Walcott started April 7 after his predecessor, Cathie Black, was forced out after just three months on the job.

LISTEN: WCBS 880′s Mike Xirinachs on Walcott’s goals

“Part of my goal is to, I’ve indicated, meet with parents, meet with community organizations and hear what they have to say,” he said.

A parent group held a news conference Sunday at the Brandeis Educational Complex on the Upper West Side to say they’ve sued the city for its plan to put a charter school in the building.

Later in Queens, state Sen. Tony Avella led a rally of students protesting the closing of Jamaica High School.

Then in front of City Hall a group of students demanded a meeting with the new chancellor. They’re asking him to stop closing schools in trouble.

He took part in a meeting of the citywide council on special education in Long Island City on Saturday.

Parental involvement in the education of their children is an area Walcott sees as one of his biggest challenges.

“Making sure parents are true partners in what’s happening in the lives of their children and we are involved with them,” he said.

Walcott acknowledged that the city’s education system faces a tough road ahead with the looming possibility of teacher lay-offs and restructuring of failing schools. The longtime deputy mayor said he plans to listen to parents and teachers before making any decisions.

Another goal of Walcott is to put the students in front.

“How do we educate our students? Making sure they’re getting a quality education. Making sure they have an effective teacher in front of them. Making sure they have solid leadership in principals. Making sure they have resources within our means. That to me is the ultimate goal,” he said.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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