Archive for July, 2008

25th July
2008

First Published in The New York Sun, July 25, 2008

By Andrew Wolf
If we were somehow travel ahead in time, say a decade from now, and land in New York City, one thing is for certain: we will be still be talking of the crisis in education, complaining about graduation rates, wringing our hands over the loss of our competitive position in the world marketplace.

The Bloomberg reforms? They will fade away as surely as the morning dew.

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18th July
2008

First Published in The New York Sun, July 18, 2008

By Andrew Wolf

It came as an relief to me that our Landmarks Preservation Commission has designated 30 mostly forgettable buildings along the west side of Manhattan as the “West Chelsea Historic District.” I can now sleep soundly secure in the knowledge that the R.C. Williams and Co. building, the Berlin and Jones Envelope Co. building, the Wolff Building and the Wolff Building Annex, and 26 others will be protected from the wrecking ball.

Meanwhile, several miles to the north, wrecking crews are anticipating the demolition of one of New York’s truly great, historic, and beloved landmarks, Yankee Stadium. Already it is being called the “old” Yankee Stadium much as we recall the “old” Penn Station, a great building destroyed in the name of progress and regretted ever since.

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11th July
2008

First Published in The New York Sun, July 11, 2008

By Andrew Wolf

Next week, some 30 educators from Shenzhen, China are attending seminars sponsored by the College of Mount St. Vincent “to study the concepts, practices, institutions, policies, and learning strategies embedded … specifically within New York City where test scores are ever improving, and put those concepts into practice back in China,” according to the announcement of the program released by the college.

I would suggest that perhaps we turn things around and have the Chinese educators teach us a thing or two. Clearly we are lagging behind by any fair measure as evidenced by the results of the NAEP and SAT tests. New York is falling behind as we keep lowering our definition of “proficient.”

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3rd July
2008

First Published in The New York Sun, July 3, 2008

By Andrew Wolf

The Fourth of July marks the anniversary of the independence of America, a time to reflect on the greatness of our nation and all sorts of high-minded civic concerns. For me, however, it’s an opportunity to reflect on another aspect of America’s greatness and ingenuity, the great jazz music pioneered by Louis Armstrong.

Armstrong’s birthday traditionally is celebrated on the Fourth of July. It is said that Satchmo thought that he was born on the Fourth of July of 1900. But research since he died has shown he actually was born on August 4, 1901.

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