Archive for August, 2004

27th August
2004

 First Published in The New York Sun, August 27, 2004

By Andrew Wolf

There are many worthy charities that New Yorkers can support. Last year, State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer made up a little list of his own favorites that he handed over to Philip Anschutz, the former chairman of Qwest. 

    Mr. Spitzer charged that Mr.Anschutz illegally profited by getting in on profitable initial public offerings, courtesy of the brokerage Salomon Smith Barney.That was alleged to be in exchange for steering lucrative investment banking business to the firm.  (more…)

20th August
2004

First Published in The New York Sun, August 20, 2004

By Andrew Wolf

 Schools Chancellor Joel Klein has come under a lot of criticism from editorial writers on the right regarding his decision to finesse the school-transfer provisions of the No Child Left Behind law. From the left, he’s being pressured to comply by the City Council Education Committee chairwoman, Eva Moskowitz. 

    No one has been more critical of Mr. Klein than I. But on this issue I believe that Mr. Klein is correct. He has shown great courage by changing course.  (more…)

16th August
2004

First Published in The New York Sun, August 16, 2004

By Andrew Wolf

 The Bronx has recently become Jerry Skurnick’s favorite borough. Mr. Skurnick, who was once an aide to Mayor Koch,now is a political direct-mail guru. Bronx politicos are lining up at the door of his firm, Prime New York, to buy mailing lists for their campaigns. Letterboxes throughout the borough have already begun to fill up with brochures for the candidates in an unusually large number of contested elections. 

    Much of this is driven by competition between the various clans of politicians. These family feuds have replaced the traditional political clubs and party organizations in this beleaguered borough. A growing number of scandals may soon put an even broader smile on Mr.Skurnick’s face.  (more…)

6th August
2004

First Published in The New York Sun, August 6, 2004

By Andrew Wolf

 The National Endowment for the Arts recently released a report on our nation’s literacy. Americans are not reading as much as they used to.This trend has been accelerating in the past two decades.There has been a lot of anguish over this news, which has drawn much comment on both the left and right, and no shortage of theories attempting to explain how we came to this. Everything gets blamed, from television to videogames to the Internet. I have my own theory. 

    It is curious is that the movement of our young people away from the joy of reading for pleasure appears to coincide with the rise of the whole language (often labeled “balanced literacy”) method of teaching reading, and the associated content-poor “progressive” teaching model that encourages students to “construct” their own knowledge.  (more…)