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Walcott Waiver Documentation

Walcott Waiver Documentation

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April 7,2011


The Honorable David M. Steiner Commissioner of Education

New York State Education Department Room 111

89 Washington Avenue Albany, NY 12234

Deal' Commissioner Steiner:

As you are aware, a top priority of my administration has been and continues to be ensuring that every child in New York City receives a high quality education and that every child is prepared to succeed in the 21 st century by attending college or securing a job following graduation. New York City has made extraordinary progress towards that goal, and continuing that progress is essential to the future of the City and its children. With the resignation of Cathleen Black as Chancellor, I have selected a successor whose commitment to our children, understanding of OUi' reforms, knowledge of the New York City schools, and desire to continue improving our schools are unsurpassed.

I intend to appoint Dennis M. Walcott as Chancellor. Mr. Walcott has served with great distinction as Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development, and he has been integral to the success of New York City's educational reforms throughout the entirety of my administration. For almost forty years, from the time he began his career as a kindergarten teacher through his current position as Deputy Mayor, Mr. Walcott has dedicated his life to working on educational and youth services issues. He has vast experience in and a deep understanding of the many complex issues that face the. Chancellor of New York City Schools, including diverse student populations, fiscal and budgetary matters, construction and facilities

. management, the importance of school-level decision making, and the critical nature of teacher quality and what happens in the classroom. He is also a skilled communicator who understands the vital need for building relationships within the school system and the communities it serves, as he has been doing for three decades. He is exceptionally qualified to serve as Chancellor.

Accordingly, I write to request a School District Leader certificate for Mr. Walcott to serve as Chancellor of the New York City Public Schools. State Education Law section 3003(3) and 8 NYCRR Part 80~3.1 O(b)(3)(iii) authorize the Commissioner of Education to grant a School District Leader certificate to exceptionally qualified candidates who do not meet certain educational and training requirements; but "whose exceptional training and experience are the substantial equivalent of such requirements and qualify such persons for the duties of a superintendent of schools." As demonstrated below, his educational background, training and

experience arc the substantial equivalent of the Commissioner's requirements, and amply qualify him for the duties of a New York Schools Chancellor. Therefore, I respectfully request that you grant this certificate to Mr. Walcott.

A lifelong resident of southeast Queens, Mr. Walcott is a graduate of the New York City public schools, having attended P.S. 36, J.H.S. 192; and Francis Lewis High School. He received his Bachelor of Arts in 1973 and a Master of Education in 1974 from the University of Bridgeport. He also received a Mastel' of Social Work from Fordham University in 1980, earning in excess of 60 graduate credits. Thus, Mr. Walcott meets most of the academic credentials required for issuance of a School District Leader certificate. See Educ. Law § 3003(1)(a); 8 NYCRR Part 80~3.l0(b).

Mr. Walcott's background, knowledge, and experience make him an excellent choice for Chancellor. He was appointed Deputy Mayor for Policy in 2002, and since 2006 has served as Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development. In this capacity, he oversees and coordinates the operations of the Department of Education, the New York City Housing Authority, the Department of Youth and Community Development and the Mayor's Office of Adult Education, as well as reviews the activities of the New York City School Construction Authority, the City University of New York, and the City University Construction Fund. Mr. Walcott is also responsible for collaborating with community-based organizations citywide and coordinating policies concerning youth programs and adult education. He currently serves on the board of the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation, and previously served as Co-Chair ofthe Mayor's Commission for Construction Opportunity. Past board memberships include Carver Bank, Municipal Arts Society, and Primary Care Development Corporation.

Throughout my tenure as Mayor, Deputy Mayor Walcott has been my point person on all City educational and youth policy, planning and programmatic efforts. He has been involved in every key educational policy decision of this Administration and the Department of Education, including helping to champion Mayoral control of the' City schools in 2002 and securing its subsequent reauthorization; ending social promotion; developing the DOE's capital program; overseeing the opening of approximately 140 new school buildings, additions and annexes; supporting tbe establishment of over 350 new district schools and over 100 new chattel' schools; championing the lifting of the charter school cap; and advising on the adoption of the Common Core State Standards. During his time as Deputy Mayor, Mr. Walcott has visited hundreds of schools and forged relationships with teachers, principals and administrators at every level of the New York City Department of Education. He regularly discusses labor matters with officials of every union representing Department of Education employees, and, as you know, he is regularly in contact with officials of the New York State Education Department on matters related to the New York City schools. Deputy Mayor Walcott has advised Chancellor Klein, Chancellor Black, and me on every operational, budget, and policy issue affecting the City's schools and its students since 2002, and his knowledge of those issues and of the challenges facing the New York City Department of Education is beyond compare. Moreover, as Deputy Mayor he has gained an understanding of the City budget and State and federal funding streams that will be critical during the difficult budget times facing the City, the State, and the Department of Education.

Mr. Walcott's devotion to educational issues and youth development has been the hallmark of his career. Mr. Walcott possesses a New York State Permanent Teaching Certificate for Nursery, Kindergarten and Gradesl-ti, and he began his career in 1974 as a kindergarten teacher at Amistad Child Care Center in South Jamaica, Queens. After approximately one and a



half years as a teacher, Mr. Walcott founded the Frederick Douglass Brother-to-Brother Program, a mentoring program for young boys from diverse backgrounds in South Jamaica. The program enlisted men to serve as "big brothers'<+role models and mentors-for the children in the program. Mr. Walcott not only ran the program but.also served as a big brother to two boys. It is worth noting that Mr. Walcott is still friendly with his two "little brothers," who are now grown men.

When Mr. Walcott went to Fordham to pursue his Master of Social Work in 1977, he also went to work at Spence Chapin Services to Families and Children. While there, he provided foster care adoption services and ran counseling groups for adolescent foster children. He then joined the Greater New York Fund/United Way, where he worked with not-for-profit corporations and corporate professionals to administer and allocate grants for foster care services.

In 1985, Mr. Walcott became the Executive Director of Harlem Dowling Children's Services, where he was responsible for managing and overseeing all aspects of that

. organization's operations and policy. Harlem Dowling provided. an array of child welfare services, including finding and maintaining foster homes, adoption services, preventative services, and educational programs, Initially, Harlem Dowling operated primarily in Harlem, but Mr. Walcott oversaw a merger with the West Side Center for Children and Family Services; which permitted Harlem Dowling to begin providing services citywide. Thus, by this point in his career Mr. Walcott had already gained significant experience in education and youth services, including how to manage and operate a citywide organization providing such services, and a deep understanding of issues facing youth in. New York City.

In 1990, Mr. Walcott became President and Chief Executive Officer of the Urban League, a position he held until I appointed him as Deputy Mayor in 2002. As President, he expanded educational and youth service programs, including Jeter's Leaders and Bridge to Brotherhood programs, Healthy Start, Northern Manhattan Prenatal Partnership, and the 140th Street Building Block Program. His many efforts centered on promoting academic excellence and school attendance, preventing drop-outs, supporting interracial and inter-ethnic youth cooperation, and developing college scholarship programs though effective public-private partnerships, including with Wall Street. The Urban League's focus on education also included partnerships with New York City schools and school communities. In 1998, under Mr.:

Walcott's leadership, the Urban League worked with the United Federation ofTeachers, the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, and several community based organizations to secure a significant grant from the Board of Education to run a school leadership training program-to train parents to become school leaders.

While at the Urban League.Mr. Walcott became one of New York City's most prominent educational leaders, In 1993, Mayor David Dinkins appointed Mr. Walcott to the then Board of Education, where he served for approximately thirteen months and was involved in policies, budget matters and operational issues pertaining to New York City schools) including the

. appointment of a new Chancellor, Ray Cortines. Even before becoming Deputy Mayor, Mr.

Walcott had close working relationships with every Chancellor from the early 19908 onward, including Chancellors Cortines, Fernandez, Crew, and Levy, In 1997, when Chancellor Crew suspended Community School Board 5) he appointed Mr. Walcott as a Trustee and Chair of the Trustee Board for District 5. In that capacity, Mr. Walcott oversaw the community district's

educational policies for over a year, Later.In 2000, Mr. Walcott was appointed to serve on a task force convened by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Partnership for New York City

President and CEO Katherine Wylde to study New York City school governance policies. And throughout his time at the Urban League, Mr. Walcott hosted call-in radio shows on WWRL and WLIB, where he discussed a variety of local topics, including education, and interviewed local elected officials, and education and community leaders.' He also served on the New York City Voter Assistance Commission, spearheading a significant effort to educate the voting public on participation in community school board elections.

During this time, Mr. Walcott also gained additional teaching experience. He served as an adjunct professor in social sciences at York College during 1997 and 1998.

As demonstrated above, Deputy Mayor Walcott's knowledge of the New York City schools has only deepened since the advent of Mayoral control, and his other work as Deputy Mayor is also relevant to your consideration of this application. His work with the Department of Youth and Community Development, for instance, has involved oversight of DYCD's out-ofschool time programs and Beacon Centers, all of which support the Department of Education's objectives and provide a wide range of highly successful and innovative strategies centering on academic commitment and excellence, high school transition, literacy, math skills, leadership development, drop-out prevention, test preparation, and nutrition. H~s work with NYCI·IA has involved major policy issues pertaining to NYCHA residents who attend City schools and their families. His work with CUNY has given him first-hand insight into the partnership between the Department of Education and CUNY, which has deepened during my administration. And his work with the Mayor's Office of Adult Education, which he created, has involved,among other things, coordination with the Department of Education's District 79.

Finally, he is also a public school parent, as all of his children attended New York City public schools, and his grandson now attends a New York City public school.

To call Dennis Walcott "exceptionally qualified" to serve as Chancellor of the New York City Schools is an understatement. He is an extraordinary leader in civil rights, community outreach, youth and family services, and education, and he has a knowledge of the New York City schools and its students, parents, teachers, and administrators that is second to none. His experience, insights, and knowledge have been vital to theprogress we have made so far in New York City, and I have every confidence that as Chancellor he will lead our schools and our

students even further? . '

Thank you for your consideration.



Michael R. Bloomberg


I Additionally, during the summer 0[2009, when the first Mayoral control statute had expired and the previous school governance law had come back into effect, I appointed Mr. Walcott to serve on the Board of Education, and he was elected President of the Board. That service ended upon the Legislature's reenactment of Mayoral control that fall.

2 Mr. Walcott is aware of the requirement for child abuse and school violence prevention training and will complete that coursework expeditiously.



April 2011

Position: New York City Schools Chancellor: Mayoral Appointee

Authority and Responsibility: The Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education serves as chief executive officer for the city school district and the superintendent of schools, and performs other duties as described below.

Term: The Chancellor serves at the pleasure of and is employed by the Mayor of the City of New York by contract for a term not to exceed by more than two years the term of office of the

mayor authorizing such contract. .

Powers and Duties:

The powers and duties of the Chancellor are set forth in section 2590-h and other relevant sections of the New York Education Law. They include, but are not limited to:

• Promote an equal educational opportunity for all students in the schools of the city district, promote fiscal and .educational equity, and increase student achievement and school performance

• Promulgate minimum clear educational standards, curriculum requirements and frameworks, and mandatory educational objectives applicable to all schools and programs throughout the city district, and examine and evaluate all such schools and programs with respect to their compliance and their educational effectiveness

• Promote a parents' association or parent-teachers' association in each school under the Chancellor's jurisdiction

• Control and operate academic and vocational senior high schools, specialized senior high schools, and special education programs and' services.

• Ensure compliance with state and federal laws and regulations concerning school-based management and shared decision-making

• Prepare an educational impact statement regarding any proposed school closing or significant change in school utilization, including the phase-out, grade reconfiguration, re-siting, or colocation of schools, for any public school located within the city district

• Create standards, policies and objectives and promulgate regulations directly related to maintaining the internal fiscal integrity of administrative operations by the Chancellor, the community districts and the schools

• Ensure compliance with qualifications established for all personnel employed in the city

d istrict, and exercise all of (he duties and responsibilities ofthe employing board with respect to any members of the teaching or supervisory staff of schools

• Establish uni form procedures for record keeping, accounting and reporting throughout the city district

• Delegate any powers and duties to subordinate officers or employees

• Develop an educational facilities master plan and a five-year educational facilities capital pbn

• Promulgate regulations establishing educational, managerial, and administrative qualifications, performance record criteria, and performance standards for the positions of superintendent and principal

• Select and appoint community superintendents

• Intervene in any district or school which is persistently failing to achieve educational results and standards or has failed to improve its educational results and student achievement

• Develop a school-based budgeting process for schools under the Chancellor's jurisdiction, and promote the effectiveness and integrity of school-based budgeting

• Develop a procurement policy for the New York City school district and the community districts and publ ic schools therein

• Establish uniform procedures for record keeping, accounting and reporting throughout the city district

.' Establish a system of internal controls, including internal administrative controls and internal accounting controls, with provisions for internal audits

• Develop and furnish pre-service and in-service training programs for principals and other employees throughout the city district, and allocate sufficient funds for teacher and principal trai ning to meet school improvement needs

• Promote the involvement and appropriate input of all members of the school community


AppMclltlon tor Ichool EMItrtc:t leider

. The Jnbmdon on "1Ipi'Mc1'.Xln .. coIIIc:IM ~ end will be lINd to c::NMI 1M ~ proNIln the Educ*Ion ~. dIIlrn • ThIe btIIC .. ~ Ie nMdId tar ... ppIIoIIIcM •• The name lind ....... on tit .pplcMlon wIl tit UItd b eM ~ ClftMlcr"I, Iftd dt .... 1OM fat . . ~










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Date o.or.. R~ May 20, 1:173
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01",. MaftfL 11/151:1010

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AfftOVIt concerning Child 8upport and Ma,.., Ch.ractlr



~ Have you ever been fOund guilty after 1liii, Of pIe.cSed
~ultty. no CX)n"t. nolo contendere, or Iwd .djud~Hon ~ 4lI'I!!~
'''' M_ to. crime (felony or ma.demeanor) In eny S . NO
~rt? . .
p . Po you curnmUyhllve .ny ctlmlnal dwJge(l) pending . .YE~"
p.g.lnltyou? .
J! ~ you ever had an aPJlllaltion for. &tIdmg, -
"" . or YOCetIonaIc:redenUat (I ••.• licente •.. .ies
P""'" "_" or NQ!ItraDon) In New YOlk Of Iny other . NO
luMdIcUon denNtd?
Ii=" ~,YOU evet' IUrr.ndered I teac:Nng,profetllon.t or
aedentlal (i .e., let ... , certIb\e or· . aeS •
r,.uIlWoUon) or had IUCh aedentlell'Mled. IUlPended.
~.IIct.ted or otherwIH lubjeded to • dltclpMnllry . 00
pen.1ty In any juritdlction? :
~ ~. you the .ubIed of any pending 1'l'ltltlpUon .ncUor ~ •
.•. cMrge(.) fOf profeUtonal mIIconcklCt In any
~? S HO
~ If you .nawetltd -YESN to ~ of the. FI'IOI1I chllractef' queatlont; pie ... PfOVIde In ex~natkJn :
IIGN1NG ..... I CoCM1fInn 1M' .11 ... , oWiIMt .. tNt.nd ClCMlaInl no .,..,..,._ ... ttdQnOf II/UIlOIO


~p'&c.Uon AttHtatlon
...... d ... ..,.t CtttJflca_ Type T ... AppltcatIon
F ..
.. = AdmInlintioMnd~=Pef'aoMeI-SeMcea ProhNIonel ~ School 0Iatrid ~ 1100.00 USD To"" Due: 11oo.D USO

I hereby certify th •• n the lWtementa, at\etlltlon., InformMkm. lind data contllned In tills appUcation Ire true and accUf81e. I undtqtand tNt any deliberate •• letementa ()()I"rt.1 ..... In thlllPPlJcatJon may be ground. for IICtion -a.mat me.

'", . .:".

• 1/1512010

Employment Information

Enter information about your paid professional work experience in public or nonpublic school system. List all experi~nce (pre K-12 classroom teaching, pupil personnel services, administrative/supervisory). regardless of whether it corresponds to a certificate for which you are applying.

Enter Paid Professional Work Experience Name of School:

---------__ i=\mistacLChUd C.are Center

School Location (e,g,. City & State):

Queens, NY

Dates of Employment:

From: 09 101 /1974 To: 02 /28 11976

"Employment Type:


Fu 11 Time: (80 percent or greater)

c Part Time: (Less than 80 percent)

"School Type: _



r· Public

Kindergarten teacher

Describe subject, grades, or areas taught or supervlsorv/admlnistratlve or pupil personnel services _position:

I herby certify that the information above Is true and accurate. I understand that any deliberate misrepresentations contained on this page may be grounds for action against me.

Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development City of New York


Dennis M. Walcott


Deputy Mayor for Policy City of New York 2002-2006

New York Urban League

President and Chief Executive Officer 1990 - 2001

York College

Adjunct Professor, Social Sciences, 1997~1998

Harlem Dowling Westside Center Executive Director, 1985-1990

Greater New York Fund"United Way

Associate Director for Agency Relations, 1979-1985

Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children Caseworker, 1977-1979

Frederick Douglass Brother to Brother Program Founder and Director, 1976-1978

Amistad Child Care Center Kindergarten Teacher, 1974-1976

Organizational/Business Affiliations

Governor's Island Corporation Board member, 2010-present

Governor's Island Preservation and Education Corporation Board member, 2003-2010

Mayor's Commission for Construction Opportunity Co-Chair, 2005-2010


Task Force on New York City School Governance Member, 2000

Community School Board, Community School District #5 President of Trustee Board, 1998

New York City Voter Assistance Commission Chairperson, 1993 -1998

New York City Police Department's Courtesy, Professionalism and Respect Committee Co-Chair, 1997-2000

Primal'-y·Gare-DevelepmentCorporation Member, Board of Directors, 1998-2001

Mayor's Police Community Relations Task Force Member, 1997-1998

Municipal Art Society

Member, Board of Directors, 1997-1999

New York City Board of Education President, Summer 2009

Member, 1993-1994

Human Resources Administration Advisory Committee Chairperson, 1989-1993

Governor George Pataki' s Transition Committee Member, 1994


National Black Child Development Institute Member, Board of Directors, 1993-1999

Jamaica Business Resource Center

Member, Board of Directors Member, 1997-2001

United Hospital Fund Board of Directors Member, Board of Directors, 1999-2001

Carver Bank Corp.

Member, Board of Directors, 1999-2001

Independence Bank Foundation Member, Board of Directors, 1998-2000




May 2D, l.973

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tDirector Iment Opeor,a,tions

APR 0 6 201l



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