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Beep on verge of picking her educational delegate

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“It’s getting close,” Dan Andrews said Monday...

By Kathianne Boniello

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall is about to name the borough’s representative to the new Panel for Educational Policy, and a decision could be announced by the end of this week, her spokesman said.

“It’s getting close,” Dan Andrews said Monday when asked if the borough president had made her choice. Andrews said Marshall may make her decision public by the end of the week.

Last week Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his seven appointees to the new board, nearly all of whom have some tie to the City University of New York system.

It was unclear how many of the seven, who include businessmen Philip Berry and Richard Menschel, museum director Susana Torruella Leval, and educators Dr. David Chang, Dr. Ramona Hernandez, Dr. Augusta Souza Kappner and Marita Regan, had connections to Queens.

Last month the state Legislature approved sweeping changes to the organization of the city’s public school system, which has 1.1 million students.

The new school governance system puts the mayor in charge, with the power to appoint the schools chancellor as well as seven members of an advisory education board. Each of the city’s five borough presidents chooses a representative to the new Panel for Educational Policy, which will be chaired by the schools chancellor.

Each borough rep must be a parent with children currently in city public schools, and Marshall said last month she would offer the resources of Borough Hall as support to the new Queens rep.

At a news conference last week Bloomberg praised the varied backgrounds of his appointees.

“Each of these individuals possesses exceptional expertise and experience in the particular areas vital to the success of the school system,” Bloomberg said. “Their work will empower the future leaders of our city, the students of the public school system.”

The old seven-member Board of Education had two people appointed by the mayor and five reps from each borough chosen by each borough president. A major difference between the two boards is that the members of the Panel for Educational Policy will not have staff and will not be reimbursed or paid for their services.

In other educational news, Schools Chancellor Harold Levy announced a 7 percent increase in the number of students showing up for summer school classes between this year and last. Levy has agreed to stay on as schools chancellor until Dec. 31 but will leave earlier if Bloomberg chooses his replacement before year’s end.

Levy said in a news release that citywide attendance rates for summer school have hit 69.4 percent vs. 62.3 percent for the same time period in 2001.

But overall the number of students required to enroll in summer school has dropped by 48,070 this year. Levy attributed the decrease to “a significant increase in the number of students meeting promotion standards in the high schools this year.”

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

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