State education boss to leave job by year's end

(AP) - State Department of Education CommissionerDavid Steiner unexpectedly announced his resignation Thursday hoursafter New York City schools Chancellor Cathie Black abruptly quit,ending her short,

ALBANY - (AP) - State Department of Education CommissionerDavid Steiner unexpectedly announced his resignation Thursday hoursafter New York City schools Chancellor Cathie Black abruptly quit,ending her short, tumultuous tenure. Steiner had granted Black, a former Hearst publishing executivewith no education management experience, the waiver she needed tobecome schools chancellor in the nation's biggest city. Overobjections by advisers, Steiner allowed the waiver sought by MayorMichael Bloomberg, only to see Black resign four months later. Steiner gave no reason for his decision to leave his job by theend of the year but told The Associated Press that Black'sresignation had "zero" impact on his decision and hisannouncement. "This is a coincidence, a bizarre coincidence," he said. He described his two years in the job as "exhilarating andexhausting." Steiner said he is resigning now that a plan to create a teacherevaluation system he pushed is under way. He also noted his otheraccomplishments: reforming teacher preparation and overhaulingstandardized tests for elementary schools. He also was crucial inthe state winning $700 million in the federal Race to the Topfunding in August based on education reform efforts. "As the end of the school year and the legislative sessionapproaches, I am immensely proud of the reforms we've achieved,"Steiner said in a one-paragraph announcement. The commissioner is chosen by the state Board of Regents, whosemembers are selected by the Legislature. The commissioner carriesout the Board of Regents' policies in schools, including mattersinvolving curriculum, standardized tests and requirements forgraduation. State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch called Steiner"one of America's leading education reform visionaries." Steiner, 53, was paid $250,000 a year.

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