Archive for May, 2005

31st May
2005

First Published in The New York Sun, May 31, 2005

By Andrew Wolf

If, somehow, Mayor Bloomberg is not re-elected,I believe that the analysts will point to a miscalculation made this past Saturday as one of the key reasons for the loss.
The mayor’s acceptance of the Independence Party line is sure to haunt him. It will hurt him in the Republican primary as his two GOP opponents, former council member Thomas Ognibene and investment banker Steven Shaw will have the opportunity to link Mr. Bloomberg to the wacky Marxist, cultlike politics of Lenora Fulani and her mentor, Frederick Newman. This will be just the tip of the iceberg.
(more…)

27th May
2005

First Published in The New York Sun, May 27, 2005

By Andrew Wolf

It should come as good news to Rep. Anthony Weiner that service in the U.S. House of Representatives is, historically, one of the most effective routes to the top job in City Hall.
Not that the ground isn’t littered with members of Congress who have failed to become mayor — it is. The names of Bella Abzug, Mario Biaggi, James Scheuer, and Herman Badillo come to mind. But for at least three others, all of whom were mayors of some note, the road to City Hall went right through the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
(more…)

27th May
2005

First Published in The New York Sun, May 27, 2005

By Andrew Wolf

There is an ugly situation developing at the Bronx High School of Science, my alma mater, the once flagship school of a public education system that was the envy of the nation. The majority of the Bronx Science faculty is in open revolt, the principal is being publicly ridiculed, and the education of the students and the school’s reputation are being undermined by the imposition of questionable educational theories.
As an alumnus, I have long been distressed that Bronx Science has taken a secondary position among New York City high schools to Stuyvesant. Part of this change in fortune has to do with location. Stuyvesant sits on the Lower Manhattan waterfront in a shiny building of recent vintage. Bronx Science is located in a remote section of the Bronx in a structure that was state-of-the-art back in the 1960s, when I roamed the halls.Today it looks frayed.
(more…)

24th May
2005

First Published in The New York Sun, May 24, 2005

By Andrew Wolf

There is a disconnect between the issues that the newspapers and broadcast outlets have put on the front burners and those that are really important to voters.
Look at the West Side stadium proposal for the Jets and the Olympics that we don’t yet have and are unlikely to get.This issue has dominated the news and the campaign. But where I live, in Riverdale in the northwest Bronx, there is no visible evidence that anyone cares. I have yet to meet an ordinary resident who is outraged, one way or the other.
(more…)

20th May
2005

First Published in The New York Sun, May 20, 2005

By Andrew Wolf

We are experiencing the downside of mayoral control of education. The results of a high-stakes test have become mixed into an even higher-stakes endeavor: electoral politics.
Upon assuming control of the schools nearly three years ago, Mayor Bloomberg asked that he be held accountable for their performance. That is why there is so much hoopla over the increase in the fourth-grade test scores and why there are so many questions raised by his political opponents over those results.
Did the scores really go up by nearly 10 points, or has the test or grading been made easier? Has the test-taking population been manipulated in such a way to skew the results?
(more…)

19th May
2005

First Published in The New York Sun, May 19, 2005

By Andrew Wolf

This is a good week to be Mayor Bloomberg, one that demonstrates how hard it will be to defeat an incumbent in a year of little crisis, particularly when he can hugely outspend his opponents.
First, Mr. Bloomberg demonstrated that he can take charge of a crisis. The incredible damage done by the collapse of a retaining wall alongside the Henry Hudson Parkway was cleared away in just days.The mayor looked effective, decisive, and got the job done. He looked like a businessman, which is exactly why Mr. Bloomberg was elected in 2001.
(more…)

16th May
2005

First Published in The New York Sun, May 16, 2005

By Andrew Wolf

The six candidates who would like to replace Mayor Bloomberg as mayor arose early Saturday morning and made their way to the New York Hilton for a candidates’ forum at the United Federation of Teachers spring conference. They all went home with a smile.

It is hard for a candidate running against the mayor to get a bad reception at this event.The mere mention of the mayor’s name was a sure trigger for a chorus of boos from the audience of more than 2,000 angry teachers. (more…)

13th May
2005

First Published in The New York Sun, May 13, 2005

By Andrew Wolf

New York’s high school problem was put into focus this past Monday in Newsweek, which features their annual listing of the nation’s 100 best high schools. None was from New York City. In fact, one needed to visit the Newsweek Web site and check the list all the way down to number 471 — Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside — to encounter a New York City public school.

Newsweek calculates the best schools by a formula that enrages the anti-testing crowd but appears to predict academic success.They take the number of Advanced Placement and/or International Baccalaureate tests taken by all students at a school and divide by the number of graduating seniors. Schools with special admissions standards, such as Stuyvesant and the Bronx High School of Science, are not eligible for this list. (more…)

12th May
2005

First Published in The New York Sun, May 12, 2005

By Andrew Wolf

The flap over the remarks made in March by Fernando Ferrer has now become a discussion of consistency and principles, the measure of which is the negative use of the term “flip-flop.”

The flip-flop is a term that may have killed the Kerry presidential campaign in 2004.Voters may not understand all the nuances of every issue, but they do understand consistency and candor. In fact, they demand it. (more…)

12th May
2005

First Published in The New York Sun, May 12, 2005

By Andrew Wolf

We hear a lot in the press about the big development projects, such as the debates over ground zero or the proposed Jets Stadium on the West Side. But across the city there are hundreds of land use issues, invisible to all but a few, but collectively as significant as the largest projects. In general, the citywide trend is to cut severely back on neighborhood growth.

Great cities are living organisms, constantly moving, changing and evolving. New York is a town where once seedy industrial slums have evolved into chic residential areas. We are now, however, in danger of government stifling the natural development of Gotham, one neighborhood at a time. (more…)

Previous