Archive for November, 2004

30th November
2004

First Published in The New York Sun, November 30, 2004

By Andrew Wolf

Mayor Bloomberg, outlining early in his tenure his program to “fix”the schools, asserted that there were “no good old days, just old days.”The Boston-educated billionaire was wrong.There was a time when New York’s schools were the envy of the nation, nurturing the talents of the highest-performing students.Yet the remnant of what was once one of the most successful programs to develop the talents of gifted and talented New York children is under fire.

During the “good old days,” homogeneous class groupings by ability began in the earliest grades.Classes were grouped rigorously,the “one class” of the brightest children, the “two class” the next highest, and so on. The designations were abandoned in the early 1960s. Homogenous classes have since been eliminated by the “progressive” educators who now control the system. (more…)

12th November
2004

First Published in The New York Sun, November 12, 2004

By Andrew Wolf

Diane Ravitch has publicly announced that she intends to vote for Mayor Bloomberg’s re-election next year. She offers high praise for his leadership on public safety and economic development. She likes him personally.She has praised his integrity and even called him “adorable.”

But at a breakfast conference held recently at New York University, where Ms. Ravitch is research professor of education, she also gave her preferred candidate more than a bit of “tough love” on one area of government that she is expert in, the city’s public school system. For aides of the Bloomberg administration present, such as Communications Director William Cunningham,and policy adviser Ester Fuchs,it must have been an uncomfortable hour-and-a-half.  (more…)