Archive for September, 2002

27th September

First Published in The New York Sun,  September 27, 2002
By Andrew Wolf

Until the culture of the old Board of Education is purged, change at the city’s Department of Education is bound to come slowly — too slowly if Mayor Bloomberg hopes to succeed in improving our schools.
One key part of this culture that newly appointed schools chancellor Joel Klein could examine are the reams of so-called “Chancel
lor’s Regulations” that govern much of what goes on in the educational system on a day-to-day basis, but are rarely discussed. Mr. Klein, with the flick of his pen, could accomplish a significant reform immediately by moderating, to take just one example, Chancellor’s Regulation A-101.

20th September

First Published in The New York Sun,  September 20, 2002
By Andrew Wolf

If you don’t come from the Bronx, it’s tough to understand politicians like Senator Pedro Espada, Jr. Mr. Espada is a charming rogue. If there is an ethical or legal line to cross you can be sure that he will be walking that line.

One can’t help but be impressed with the health care empire Mr. Espada has built. The halls of his Soundview Health Center, one of several such centers he operates, bustle with activity. Thousands of poor Bronxites depend on him for medical care, which is the source of his political appeal. At the Bronx, the public health care industry — the biggest business sector in the only borough without a chamber of commerce — has supplanted the clubhouse as the political center. (more…)

13th September

First Published in The New York Sun,  September 13, 2002
By Andrew Wolf

d and Fran got two nasty surprises in their mailbox last week. The retired educators, who live at the Riverdale section of the Bronx, received two anti-Alan Hevesi litical mailings that were about as negative as one could get.

Both had to do with Mr. Hevesi’s failure to march with the Rev. Al Sharpton after the shooting of Amadou Diallo. To glance at this literature, one would all but think that the professorial Mr. Hevesi fired some of the 41 bullets that killed the African street peddler. Nowhere does the literature tell them for whom they should vote, but simply suggests that the recipient vote against Mr. Hevesi because he is not reliable on what the mailing dubs “minority issues.” Both pieces featured unflattering photos of a very white Mr. Hevesi. (more…)

6th September

First Published in The New York Sun,  September 6, 2002
By Andrew Wolf

I was pleased to hear from schools chancellor Joel Klein this week thanking me for sending him a copy of professor E.D. Hirsch Jr.’s book, “The Schools We Need and Why We Don’t Have Them.” He reports that he read it and “found it to be helpful.”  Unfortunately, before he read it he hired as his chief educator former Providence, R.I. schools superintendent Diana Lam, who, early evidence suggests, faces 180 degrees from Mr. Hirsch. Now all I can suggest is that he lend the book to Ms. Lam.

This book would make better reading than the National Education Association’s self-flagellating curriculum for 9/11, a document that reflects the “progressive” philosophy that dominates the educational establishment. I suspect that this missive would be more to Ms. Lam’s liking. (more…)