NEW YORK - (AP) - New York state's education commissioner hasgiven Dennis Walcott the go-ahead to head New York City's 1.1million-pupil school system.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed Walcott as schools chancellorlast week after publishing executive Cathie Black resigned.

Walcott needed a waiver from Commissioner David Steiner becausehe is not a licensed school superintendent.

Steiner said in his decision Thursday that Walcott has had along and distinguished career and that his knowledge of educationalissues is unquestioned.

Walcott is Bloomberg's deputy mayor for education. He has taughtkindergarten, headed the Urban League and started a mentoringprogram for young boys.

Black quit after a rocky three months. She also received awaiver from the state to serve as chancellor although she had nobackground as an educator.

New schools chancellor pick vows to continue reforms, progress NY Schools Chancellor Cathie Black resigns