There’s a new day ahead for New York City public schools. Last month, Governor George Pataki signed a law that assigns responsibility for the school system where it belongs--on the mayor’s desk.
This new law put the old Board of Education out of business. Replacing it is a 13-member Panel for Educational Policy chaired by the Schools Chancellor. Rather than micro-manage the school system the way the old Board of Ed did, this new panel will focus on helping the chancellor set sound educational policy.
Under this new law, the mayor appoints the chancellor and seven other members of this panel. Last week, I named seven distinguished New Yorkers to serve on this body. These men and women have rich and varied backgrounds that will help the chancellor reform our city’s schools so that every child can participate in the American dream. The appointees come from neighborhoods throughout the city, and each possesses particular expertise in areas vital to the overall success of the school system.
Philip A. Berry is vice-president of global employee relations for Colgate-Palmolive. His more than 25 years of experience in human resources management will prove highly valuable to a school system with more than 135,000 employees.
Doctor David C. Chang, the president of Polytechnic University, has made that school a strong center of education in the sciences--subjects that are vitally important to the future success of our public school students.
Doctor Ramona Hernandez, a native of Santo Domingo, directs the Dominican Studies Institute of the City University of New York. Her expertise will be especially helpful in meeting the needs of students whose families are new New Yorkers.
Doctor Augusta Kappner is president of Bank Street College of Education, a national leader in improving the quality of teacher instruction.
The former director of El Museo del Barrio, Susan Leval has an outstanding relationship with our city’s cultural institutions that will strengthen arts education in the schools.
Richard L. Menschel is a senior director of Goldman Sachs with a distinguished record of civic service, especially in the field of public health.
Marita Regan, a successful career educator with nearly 40 years of experience in Brooklyn public schools, possesses a wealth of first-hand knowledge about what works, and what doesn’t in our classrooms.
Each of the five borough presidents will also appoint one member to the panel. Their members must be parents of children currently in the public schools. Along with the appointments just made, these panel members will give the Schools Chancellor a deep reservoir of experience and wisdom to draw from in making New York’s public schools the best in the nation.
Michael R. Bloomberg was elected the 108th Mayor of New York City in November 2001.