Official Statement On Appointment of Dennis Walcott As NYC Schools Chancellor by NYDNDailyPolitics


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									                                     THE CITY OF NEW YORK
                                     O F F IC EO F TH E M AY O R
                                       N E W Y O R K , NY 1 0 0 0 7

                                                          FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                                                          April 7, 2011
                                                          No. 112

                  YORK CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

   Deputy Mayor Overseeing Education Since 2002; Former Member of the Board of Education;
                           Began Career as Kindergarten Teacher

        Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today appointed Deputy Mayor for Education and
Community Development Dennis M. Walcott as Chancellor of New York City Public Schools,
following the resignation today of Chancellor Cathleen Black. Walcott, who has served as Deputy
Mayor since the beginning of the Bloomberg Administration in 2002, has been Mayor Bloomberg’s
City Hall point person on all educational and youth policy. Prior to the Mayor’s election, Walcott
served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York City Urban League, as a member
of the New York City Board of Education, as a kindergarten teacher, and as an adjunct professor of
social work at CUNY’s York College.

         “The progress we have made in our schools over the last nine years has been extraordinary,”
said Mayor Bloomberg. “Cathie Black became Chancellor of our school system earlier this year and
worked tirelessly to continue to build on our progress. I have nothing but respect and admiration for
her, but we both agree it is in the City’s best interest if she steps down as Chancellor. I am pleased
to announce that Dennis Walcott – a key part of, and a leader on, all of our education reform
initiatives – will serve as the City’s new Schools Chancellor.”

       “I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg for this opportunity to serve New York City’s 1.1
million school children,” said Deputy Mayor Walcott. “With my children and my grandson, my
family now represents four generations of New York City public school children, and I am
determined to ensure that we deliver what our parents expect and deserve – a higher quality

        Upon approval from the New York State Board of Regents, Walcott will step down as
Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development. As Deputy Mayor, Walcott 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. He also reviews the activities of the New York City School Construction
Authority, City University of New York, and the City University Construction Fund. 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
Trust for Governors Island, and previously served as Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Commission for
Construction Opportunity.

        Since 2002, Walcott has been Mayor Bloomberg’s point person on all City educational and
youth policy, planning and programmatic efforts. Walcott has been part of every key educational
policy decision of the Administration and the Department of Education: helping to champion
Mayoral control of the City schools in 2002 and securing its reauthorization; ending social
promotion; developing the Department of Education’s capital program; overseeing the opening of
474 new schools; supporting the establishing of 109 charter schools and championing the lifting of
the charter school cap.

       A graduate of New York City public schools – PS 36, JHS 192, and Francis Lewis High
School – and a lifelong resident of Southeast Queens, Walcott began his career as a Kindergarten
teacher after graduating from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut with a Bachelor’s degree
and a Master of Education. He earned a Master of Social Work from Fordham University and
served as an adjunct professor of social work at CUNY’s York College.

       Before joining the Bloomberg Administration, Walcott was the President and Chief
Executive Officer of the New York Urban League, where for more than 12 years he expanded
educational and youth service programs including Jeter’s Leaders and Bridge to Brotherhood
programs, Healthy Start, Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership, and the 140th Street Building
Block Program. His work centered on academic excellence, promoting attendance, drop-out
prevention, and developing college scholarship programs though effective public private
partnerships, including with Wall Street.

       Mayor David Dinkins appointed Walcott as a citywide member of the New York City Board
of Education in May 1993.

        Walcott also chaired the City’s Voter Assistance Commission under Mayor Dinkins,
spearheading a significant effort to educate the voting public on the importance of participation in
community school board elections. In 2000, Walcott was appointed to serve on a broad based task
force that studied school governance policies convened by State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver
and Partnership for New York City President & CEO Kathy Wylde.

        Prior to joining the Urban League, Walcott served as the Executive Director of the Harlem
Dowling Westside Center where he expanded services to children and families, developing
integrated partnerships in education and children’s services. Before joining Harlem Dowling,
Walcott worked at the Greater New York Fund/United Way, as well as at Spence Chapin Adoption
Services from 1977 to 1979, where he was a foster care worker. In 1975, Walcott founded the
Frederick Douglass Brother-to-Brother program, a mentoring program for boys who needed a male
model in their lives, which he ran until 1978. In 1997, Walcott was appointed President of
Community School District 5. Walcott has served on numerous other boards including Carver Bank
Corporation and the Primary Care Development Corporation.

       Walcott and his wife Denise have four children and two grandsons.

                                                - 30 -

       Contact:        Stu Loeser / Jessica Scaperotti                     (212) 788-2958


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