Archive for September, 2006

29th September
2006

First Published in The New York Sun, September 29, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

Last year, Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein announced the results of the state and city reading tests in a press conference at a Bronx elementary school, Public School 33. In this ancient building they announced that a great miracle had taken place. While scores rose in every elementary school grade citywide, nowhere did they rise more than in this virtually all-minority school, where nearly every child is so poor that he qualifies for free lunch.

This was an event of significance, taking place as the campaign for Mr. Bloomberg’s re-election was heating up. The announcement of the “historic gains” in reading scores was so powerful, that for all intents and purposes, it removed education as an issue that could be pursued by the mayor’s Democratic opponents. (more…)

22nd September
2006

First Published in The New York Sun, September 22, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

All elections have two sets of results. First there are the numerical winners and losers, the actual people who win and lose the seats in contention.

But beyond the statistical winners are those who win influence for themselves and their ideas by backing the right horse in the just completed race. By that measure, the most interesting results come from Brooklyn’s hotly contested 11th Congressional District where Rep. Major Owens is retiring after 24 years. Open seats are rare occurrences, as incumbents in these carefully gerrymandered districts usually only leave in chains or in boxes. (more…)

15th September
2006

First Published in The New York Sun, September 15, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

In a change of heart, it appears that the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the group which has spent the better part of two decades promoting what has become known as “fuzzy math,” has done a 180 degree turnaround. Now, once again, they embrace more traditional instruction.

This was reported on the front page of the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday and represents good news for America’s ability to compete in world markets. (more…)

12th September
2006

First Published in The New York Sun,  September 12, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

There is a political aphorism that goes something like this: “The most dangerous place in the world is the space between a politician and a camera.” The common thread shared by all those to whom the line is applied is their success at getting elected.

There is at least one promising politician to whom this line cannot be applied. He is poised to go down to crushing defeat in today’s gubernatorial primary: the Democrat Thomas Suozzi. (more…)

1st September
2006

First Published in The New York Sun,  September 1, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

Special education is one of those areas of education that has been particularly vexing to those running school systems, here and throughout the nation. How do you provide educational services to the increasing number of children who have been found to have disabilities of many types, these services mandated by law, affirmed by the courts, and protected not only by advocacy groups but by parents protecting their own children? And how do you achieve this without bankrupting the system?

This topic has been studied, restudied, picked apart by all sorts of experts. Educators, psychologists, medical doctors, social workers, journalists and, regretfully, lawyers and judges have all weighed in, producing enough articles, studies, reports, recommendations, and legal documents to fill a library. Yet there is still no consensus on how best to provide these mandated services within a reasonable budget. (more…)