Thomson praises Levy on council of biz leaders

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The new Management Advisory Council,...

By Kathianne Boniello

Queens Board of Education member Terri Thomson praised Schools Chancellor Harold Levy last week for creating a council of business leaders to explore ways to reform the administration of the city’s educational system.

The new Management Advisory Council, which Levy will chair, was slated to spent the next two to three months reviewing the structure of the city Board of Education and exploring ways to eliminate some of its bureaucracy. The Board of Ed is headquartered at 110 Livingston St. in Brooklyn.

Thomson, who last week announced her interest in the post of Board of Education president when current leader Bill Thompson steps down in April, was enthusiastic about the new council.

“This is a giant step” toward reform, she said. “110 Livingston St. has become a symbol of bureaucracy.”

In a statement Levy said the Management Advisory Council’s mission would be to make the city’s educational system work.

“Our goal is nothing less than to insure that the board is working as efficiently and effectively as possible for all the children, devoting every available dollar to the classroom and its support,” Levy said. “The system must work and be seen to work well.”

McKinsey & Co., an international management consulting firm, was expected to assist the council in its first effort: a review of what could be done to restructure the Board of Education and make it more efficient.

Thomson described McKinsey as a “fabulous,” “great corporation” and said the business leaders who have joined the Management Advisory Council have taken on a “significant responsibi­lity.”

Members of the council include: Russell Carson, a general partner in Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, an investment firm; Robert Catell, chief executive officer of KeySpan, an energy company; Rochelle Lazarus, chief executive officer of advertising firm Ogilvy-Mather; Gerald Levin, chief executive officer of newly merged media and communications giant AOL-Time Warner; Ivan Seidenberg, president and co-chief executive officer of Verizon, a phone company; Walter Shipley, former chief executive officer of Chase Bank; Jerry Speyer, chief executive officer of Tishman-Speyer, a real estate firm; Percy Sutton, chairman emeritus of Inner City Broadcasting; and Kathy Wylde, president of the New York City Partnership, a nonprofit group that works on issues like housing, education, public safety and economic development.

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

Updated 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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