Archive for February, 2007

16th February
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, February 16, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

The president of the Bronx, Adolfo Carrion Jr., gave his state of the borough speech at Hostos Community College last Friday. He had a difficult job. It could be argued that things in the Bronx are better — at least better than they were in 1977 when Howard Cosell famously told the nation, “The Bronx is Burning.” But things in the borough are not good now and Mr. Carrion’s prescriptions hold little promise for a better future.

In 1977, when the city was bankrupt and crime was on the rise, the situation in the Bronx was just an extreme version of the rot afflicting the entire city. But New York City has bounced back. Mayor Koch provided inspired leadership that helped restore confidence and civic pride. Recent federal tax policies may have helped the city’s economy rebound, as did welfare reform a decade ago. Perhaps nothing was more significant to the city’s renaissance than the successful war on crime waged by Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg. The city coffers are now awash in cash. Even the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, failed to stop the momentum of the rebounding city. But the good times seem to have passed by the Bronx. (more…)

9th February
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, February 9, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

W. Stephen Wilson teaches mathematics at Mayor Bloomberg ’s alma mater, Johns Hopkins University. Last fall he conducted an experiment on the students in his Calculus I course.

Professor Wilson administered the same final exam to last fall’s students that he used for the same course in the fall of 1989. He chose that year because he was able to obtain data for both his exam and the SAT math scores for both cohorts of students. (more…)

5th February
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, February 5, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

This is Fashion Week, when designers come here to exhibit their fall lines. I am celebrating the news that Punxsutawney Phil failed to see his shadow, which bolsters my hopes of donning my spring wardrobe a bit earlier this year.

Now that I think about it, my spring wardrobe is not much different from my winter and fall wardrobes. Jeans, corduroy sports coat (put away in the closet for summer), blue oxford shirt, no tie, and brown penny loafers. For me, this outfit has been pretty much it for the past forty years. (more…)

1st February
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, February 1, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

The Boston mayor, Thomas Menino, is fuming and with good reason. Four months ago, he proudly introduced Manuel Rivera as Beantown’s new superintendent of schools, to start work July 1 of this year. Hiring Mr. Rivera seemed like a tremendous coup and was treated as such by the Boston press and civic groups.

Mr. Rivera has been the superintendent of schools in upstate Rochester and was named Superintendent of the Year for 2006 by the American Association of School Administrators. (more…)