Archive for February 7th, 2003

7th February
2003

First Published in The New York Sun, February 7, 2003
By Andrew Wolf

Back in the days when Chancellor Klein and I attended New York City’s public schools, desks were bolted to the floor, little boys wore ties to school, girls were forbidden to wear pants, and teachers stood in the front of the classroom and directed the lessons. Now I don’t miss the old-fashioned desks, nor do I think that the ties or the skirts had any impact on student achievement. But I do think that the old-fashioned teacher-directed methods did influence the success that so many of us enjoyed during the period that was indeed the “good old days” of New York City’s school system.

Today our schools adhere to the “child-centered” movement, which commands that children should direct their own education, teachers becoming mere facilitators. This is the predominant ideology in practice across the country today, including and especially in New York. And we have ample evidence that it hasn’t been working. (more…)