Archive for July, 2002

19th July
2002

First Published in The New York Sun,  July 19, 2002
By Andrew Wolf

The city’s school test scores were finally released last week: a real mixed bag of results that almost defy analysis. If you look at the scores from the side, and twist your head in just the right way, they might just look pretty good. Come around from the other side and they’re awful. Is your child’s school going up or going down? There are few clear answers coming from these scores, released much later than we normally see them. These results are so totally and completely confusing that it is hard to believe that they are not that way by design. They can and are being interpreted in so many ways that all of the educational players will point to them to justify whatever self-congratulatory point they want to make.

Harold Levy, the lame-duck chancellor and self-appointed spin-meister, tries to put the lipstick on the pig. Math is up, he squeals. Meanwhile, his new boss, Mayor Bloomberg, damns him with the faintest of praise and also points to disastrous results in eighth grade reading. Mr. Bloomberg is a lot closer to the bleak truth. (more…)

9th July
2002

First Published in The New York Sun,  July 9, 2002
By Andrew Wolf

Readers be warned: This column may not be totally cogent or accurate. You see, I have recently been informed by the New York Public Interest Research Group, better known as NYPIRG, that I must be suffering the effects of childhood lead poisoning. But then, chances are that you too are suffering from this same affliction, so presumably you won’t be able to tell the difference.

If you are a child of the 1970s or any earlier decade, more likely than not you had levels of lead in your bloodstream that today could win you six or seven figure legal settlements. (more…)