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NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott Gets Waiver

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Incoming New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott speaks to reporters in St. Albans - Queens, NY - Apr 8, 2011 (credit: Paul Murnane/WCBS 880)

New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott (credit: Paul Murnane/WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Dennis Walcott has received the blessing of New York’s education commissioner to officially take over as New York City’s new schools chancellor.

David Steiner granted the waiver a state advisory panel recommended so Walcott can officially take the job.

The deputy mayor needed the waiver because he doesn’t have a superintendent’s certificate, though he holds a teaching license and master’s degrees in education and social work.

In granting the waiver, Steiner said Walcott had a long and distinguished career, and his credentials and knowledge of the system are without question.

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.

“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.

On April 9, 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.

“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.

Walcott’s predecessor, Cathie Black, was forced out after just three months on the job.

Do you think Walcott should be given the waiver? Is he the right man for the job? Sound off in our comments section.

(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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