I hadn't realized that mayoral control of the Chancellor of NYC Department of Education had a sunset provision, but there it is in New York State Education Laws: two version of § 2590-h, "Powers and duties of chancellor," which are nearly identical except that the current one says, "Such chancellor shall serve at the pleasure of and be employed by the mayor of the city of New York by contract. The length of such contract shall not exceed by more than two years the term of office of the mayor authorizing such contract. The chancellor shall receive a salary to be fixed by the mayor within the budgetary allocation therefor";
and the one to go into effect two years from now says the office "shall be filled by a person employed by the city board by contract for a term not to exceed by more than one year the term of office of the city board authorizing such contract, subject to removal for cause. The chancellor shall receive a salary to be fixed by the city board within the budgetary allocation therefor."
At the moment, the position is being filled fairly ably by Joel I. Klein, previously best known for prosecuting Microsoft while he was assistant AG at the Antitrust Division. He's steered a sensible course between public and private by encouraging charter schools within the traditional public schools, charters that have the same proportion of low-income students and that have to perform at least as well as the traditional publics or get shut down. That New York charters are popularly perceived as successful is perhaps best evidenced by Gov. Spitzer's quickly authorizing that their number be doubled. I'm a little skeptical of Klein's and Prof. Leibman's enthusiasm for standardized testing, but at least they have more sense than to use the test results for decisions on promoting/ tenuring teachers nor grading/ funding schools. Such uses create an incentive for teachers and administrators at best to teach to the test, and at worst to promote cheating.