Archive for August, 2007

24th August
2007

First published in The New York Sun, August 24, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

Members of the City Council, that intrepid band of public servants hell-bent on finding the most intrusive ways of interfering in the lives of the rest of us, have a new cause. They seek to ban smoking in private automobiles when a child is present.

The question to me is not whether children need protection in this case, but at what point our private space begins and ends, and for what reasons society will tolerate the breaching of that space.

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10th August
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, August 10, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

It isn’t a good thing when the power and influence of a new governor peaks before he takes office, but that appears to be exactly what has happened to Eliot Spitzer. A year ago he was the inevitable governor, poised to crush one of the more attractive Democrats to come forward in many years, Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi, in a primary election.

The GOP standard bearer, John Faso, a former assemblyman, was a victim of 12 years of increasingly lackluster performance by the Republican incumbent, George Pataki. The conventional wisdom, months before the election, was that Mr. Spitzer was not just the inevitable governor, but the inevitable president, sure to become the nation’s first Jewish chief executive after being elected (a mere formality) in 2012 or, at worst in 2016. (more…)

6th August
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, August 6, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

During the past five years, I have written extensively in this space on all sorts of high-minded educational topics. I have discussed instruction, standards, and testing, both in a general way, and as it pertains to our schools right here in Gotham.

Yet our City Council never seems to address any of the issues I raise. It is true that they don’t control the schools, the mayor does, but they do have a big say over the budget and, as a former education committee chairwoman, Eva Moskowitz, proved, has quite a bully pulpit. (more…)

3rd August
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, August 3, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

What are parents of at least six children from Riverdale to think about the process by which their five- and six-year-olds will be excluded from their local elementary school?

The sin of the six tots seems to be they’re smart enough to be called “gifted and talented,” but not quite smart enough. They had scores that qualified them for participation in the Department of Education’s new gifted and talented program but missed the cutline, a score of 354, that would have permitted them to participate in the gifted class at P.S. 24, their neighborhood elementary school. (more…)