Chancellor Speaks To Businesses With Partnership In Mind – QNS.com

Chancellor Speaks To Businesses With Partnership In Mind

City School Chancellors Harold Levy appeared before members of the Long Island City Business Development Corporation Thursday morning to discuss ideas for the Board of Education and how the New York City business community in this case, those based in Queens can be involved in improving the public school system.
The meeting drew representatives from Mobile One, the Long Island City YMCA, and Silvercup Studios, and began with an introduction by Jacqueline Arrington of Citibank. She then introduced Terri Thomson, Queens representative of the Board of Education, who dropped a few quick statistics. "The New York public school system consists of one million students, 1,100 schools, and 100,000 education professionals," said Thomson. As she introduced the Schools Chancellor to the podium, Levy received a round of applause from the audience.
Levy went straight to the point of his speech not to ask Queens organizations for monetary donations, but rather step in and act as advisors for the management of Queens public schools. "Dont think of the Board of Education as a civic enterprise, but as a business enterprise," said Levy. "We are in the childhood business."
His point was translated to language and concepts any business executive could easily relate to. "We dont have an MIS (Management Information Systems) manager and if you ask for our internal auditor, youll find we dont have one of those either," said Levy. "You might say the Board of Ed is not a tightly-run organization."
"We currently employ 1,100 managers (principals) and a client base of one million," Levy said. "Within the next three years, we will have to replace one-third of our employees. Thats a big job for any organization.
In a business perspective, the Board could be seen as a monopoly, Levy said. And they are at an advantage to private schools because "they are limited to students whose parents can afford to send their child there for $20,000 a year and we take in every student, regardless of their economic situation."
The Chancellor made it clear that he wanted to see a partnership between the local business community and the city public schools. "I want one New York business organization to be matched up to each public school." he said. Not to give donations, he said, but to "act as advisors for the management of their particular public school."
The move, he pointed out, would show an investment in the communities in which the local businesses operate.

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