Back to Table of Contents

Home | Media Kit | Articles | Subscribe | Staff | Survey | Advertisers Directory | Jobs for Educators

Please visit these websites:
  • Bank Street Bookstore
  • Karol Media - "I'm A" Poems Collection for the Classroom Kit
  • Reed Orenstein Rare Books
  • STORYTIME: Educational Toys, Books and More
  • Teachers College Bookstore
  • Jan Van Der Donk -- Rare Books, Inc.
  • Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Gives Award to Chancellor Levy

    by Pola Rosen, Ed.D.

    Schools Chancellor Harold O. Levy recently enumerated new goals for the New York City Board of Education (BOE) at a ceremony in which the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce awarded him the Special City Vision Award. The award was presented by Alair Townsend, Publisher of Crain’s New York Business at the Chamber’s Annual Business Awards breakfast. Levy talked about accountability, giving the example of an employee who was recently fired for disabling the emails of the entire Central Board. He emphasized the need to train principals in business essentials. Levy underscored linking schools with cultural institutions and strengthening connections around the district.

    “The core function of the Board of Education is to educate 1.1 million children,” said Levy. However, the BOE, viewed as a business, is the largest restaurateur in the country. With its fleet of 4,500 buses, the BOE is larger than the Metropolitan Transit Authority. He wants to make these buses that usually sit idle between the morning and afternoon runs, available to parochial and public schools for fieldtrips during the day. The Special City Vision Award recognizes Levy’s leadership in guiding the New York City public school system in new directions.

    Streamlining operations, the Chancellor is examining the prospect of training teachers internally instead of paying local colleges to do it. Levy also emphasized teacher quality, saying, “We have 70,000 teachers,” many are not certified. We have doubled the size of our recruiters and are now advertising.” He has set up a Teaching Fellows Program that lets teachers earn a Masters in Education in two years. The Board of Education will get you “up and running in six weeks,” according to Levy. He received 2,300 applications for the Program and accepted 330.

    Levy wants to enlist the help of the private sector. “What happens on the federal level will not make much of a difference in New York City, since only seven percent of our money comes from the federal government,” he said. “We need to build a broad base of support which would include the adoption of each school by a corporation. Help could be in the form of mentoring, book donations, internships, a place to have a faculty retreat.”

    Reviewing the results of this past summer program, Levy noted that in only five weeks, 41 percent of students raised their reading scores by one full grade.

    Passionately and fervently, the Chancellor summed up. “This is what teaching is about. We must instill confidence. Children will take your hand and learn together.”

    After only 11 months in office, the Chancellor’s accomplishments are worthy, his goals realistic and targeted, his vision 20/20. In short, a recipient par excellence for the Special City Vision Award.

    The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce also awarded two schools in School District 2 the Pathfinder Award, which honors schools that improved most on the 4th grade English Language Arts test from 1999-2000. The awardees, PS/IS 217, Roosevelt Island and PS 59, had more than 50 percent of their students at or above standard levels; each received $1,000 and a trophy. Acting Superintendent Shelly Harwayne of Community School District 2 stated, “It’s wonderful to have their [the teachers’ and principals’] hard work acknowledged.” #

    Back to Top
    Education Update, Inc., P.O. Box 20005, New York, NY 10001. Tel: (212) 481-5519 Fax: (212) 481-3919. Email:
    All material is copyrighted and may not be printed without express consent of the publisher. © 2000.