Archive for September, 2004

15th September

First Published in The New York Sun, September 15, 2004

By Andrew Wolf

John P. Comer is a medical doctor, a child psychiatrist who has had enormous influence over public policy in education during the past 35 years. His new book, “Leave No Child Behind” (Yale University Press, 327 pages, $28), is an admitted effort to claim the Bush administration’s slogan for a very different vision for our children. 

    Dr. Comer sees schools as basically social service agencies. His book presents a beautiful vision of schools that counsel students through their emotional traumas and help parents become worthy citizens. “Leave No Child Behind” is a description of Dr. Comer’s methods and comprehensively reviews his work, at least as it regards the elementary school grades (even the seemingly always-positive Dr. Comer is hesitant to discuss the middle and upper grades, the real test for progressive education ideologues — he promises that discussion in a future volume).  (more…)

13th September


First Published in The New York Sun, September 13, 2004

By Andrew Wolf

    Students will return this morning to public schools in New York City, a slow start that goes to the heart of what is wrong with the Department of Education’s “Children First” initiative. 

    Boys at parochial schools in the city donned their white shirts and ties, and the girls slipped on their plaid skirts, last Wednesday, giving them a threeday head start on their public-school compatriots. 

    Many of the surrounding suburban schools districts also welcomed their students back on Wednesday, some on Tuesday, and some even two weeks ago.  (more…)

3rd September


First Published in The New York Sun, September 3, 2004

By Andrew Wolf

There is far-reaching political activity taking place in this town, and I don’t mean at Madison Square Garden. Here in the Bronx, there are an unusual number of contested elections that will be decided in 10 days. 

    In 1997,at the height of Mayor Giuliani’s pre-September 11, 2001, popularity, the Bronx was the only one of the five boroughs to vote to replace him with Ruth Messinger, a Democrat and the most extreme left figure on the New York political scene since Vito Marcantonio.  (more…)