When it comes to school reform, Michelle Rhee says Dennis Walcott is the real deal.
“Through Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott’s work for the last several years in the Bloomberg administration, he has proven himself committed to the bold reforms New York’s schools and students deserve,” Rhee said in a statement to The Observer this afternoon.
Rhee has long been a champion of Mayor Bloomberg’s reform efforts, and the two enjoy such an overlap of education ideology, that there were rumors she might succeed former Chancellor Joel Klein.
Instead, Bloomberg picked Cathie Black, with Rhee issuing an optimistic statement saying Black’s professional experience had “no doubt prepared her well for the challenges that lie ahead,” which turned out not to be the case, as Black’s brief tenure will mostly be remembered for a series of gaffes.
In her statement today, Rhee had a little more to work with, and she praised Walcott’s education experience.
“A former teacher and a product of the city’s school system, he is uniquely qualified to connect with students, teachers and parents,” she said. “I applaud Mayor Bloomberg’s ongoing commitment to mayoral control of New York’s school system and to ensuring that every child has access to great teachers and excellent schools.”