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CYRIL JOSH BAKER and STEPHON JOHNSON | 4/12/2011, 5:30 p.m.

"The mayor has demonstrated sound judgment and strong principles when it comes to education," continued the letter. "His choice for chancellor should be upheld."

And in an odd political pairing, David Dinkins signed a letter with Rudy Giuliani and Ed Koch supporting Cathie Black. In a letter sent to State Education Commissioner David Steiner on Thursday the three mayors lobbied Steiner for a waiver for Black

"It is clear that Ms. Black certainly has an extraordinary track record of managing large organizations through trying circumstances," the letter said. "We believe that Mayor Bloomberg's faith in Ms. Black's competence and her proven history as an outstanding executive is, in and of itself, reason enough to grant the necessary waiver."

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has real concerns and reservations about Bloomberg's choice. He pointed out that Ms. Black has neither public sector nor education experience. " We need a public process that includes parents before moving forward, said De Blasio. "The right response (from Ms. Black and the mayor) would be to go the extra mile and speak out. The reality is this is a huge challenge, and the public needs a reassurance that she is the right choice."

He also said the state commissioner should review carefully her qualifications before granting her a waiver.