Archive for November, 2007

30th November
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, November, 30, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

Two seemingly unrelated news stories intersected the Thursday before Thanksgiving, and the result was a public relations disaster for the Department of Education. But things might have been worse. Coverage of a troublesome third story, which happened simultaneously, seems to have fallen through the cracks.

When the Department leaked word of a squad of lawyers hired to find ways to dismiss low performing teachers, led by a former prosecutor, the story quickly grabbed attention. That such a legal effort had been underway for years with mixed success didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of reporters.

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16th November
2007

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

By Andrew Wolf

The sooner that the Department of Education abandons the idea that classes for gifted and talented children are some sort of civil rights program, the better off we will all be.

Two weeks ago, Chancellor Klein announced another restructuring of the city’s gifted and talented programs, the third such effort in as many years. What is the reason behind all of this attention? The quest for “equity.”

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9th November
2007

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

By Andrew Wolf

The creation of school report cards with letter grades attached is an intriguing concept, which explains the enthusiasm by the editorial boards here in Gotham. At its center is a simple idea I advanced in this space more than five years ago, value added testing.

On October 4, 2002, I wrote, “The best schools are not necessarily those that score highest, but rather those that achieve the greatest improvement of their individual students. Only if we look at the schools by this measure can we evaluate the efficacy of the curriculum and teaching methods they employ.”

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2nd November
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, November 2, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

In recent weeks I have spent a lot of time thinking about the reasons that I, and many others, occasionally drive into Manhattan, causing all this awful congestion that we hear so much about. My conclusion is that Mayor Bloomberg and other supporters of a congestion tax should be careful for what they wish. We may be a lot better off with congestion than without it.

Suffice it to say that when I do drive into Manhattan it is not to take a joyride to pass the time. Every time I drive into the “Congestion Zone” I am doing so for one reason - to engage in commerce. In other words, I am usually on a mission to spend money, bringing dollars to pump into Gotham’s economy.

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