Posts Tagged ‘Bronx High School of Science’

25th April
2008

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

By Andrew Wolf

Students celebrated their spring vacation last week in the medieval town of Siena, Italy. And within the town walls are lessons for those who run schools in America’s cities, particularly here in Gotham.

Among these Siennese students were a number graduating from the University of Siena, just now completing their degrees. Gathering with friends and family in the vicinity of the Piazza del Campo, the graduates could easily be identified - they were the ones wearing laurels on their heads - from which we get the word laureate.

(more…)

3rd March
2008

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

By Andrew Wolf

Immigrant children outperform some native-born children in New York schools, my colleague Sarah Garland reported the other day. Indeed, it seems the longer newly-arrived children attend our schools, the worse they do. These conclusions come from a new study, “Do Immigrants Differ From Migrants?”

“The foreign born are whizzing by the native born at every level,” one of the researchers, Amy Ellen Schwartz, said.

(more…)

2nd March
2007

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

By Andrew Wolf

When the history books are written, it will be noted that the beginning of the end of New York’s grand experiment with mayoral control of the schools came at 6:30 a.m. on January 29, 2007. It was then that the city’s school buses began to roll on new routes suggested by an extraordinarily expensive outside consultant, hand-picked without competitive bidding by the Department of Education.

In a certain sense it is a sad reflection of our times that the outrage over the direction of the schools came as a result of the peripheral issue of bus routes. That eighth-grade reading scores haven’t budged in eight years, a reflection of educational stagnation impacting tens of thousands of our students, doesn’t seem quite as compelling as one child waiting in the cold for a bus that never comes. (more…)

27th October
2006

First Published in The New York Sun, October 27, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

Last spring, the city’s schools chancellor, Joel Klein, spoke at a town meeting in Riverdale, a relatively affluent community tucked in a green corner of the Bronx, just south of the city line. He got an earful from angry parents.

Topping the list of grievances was the lack of programs for gifted and talented students. This is not due to a lack of such students. Hundreds of very bright children live in this neighborhood. In the 1980s and into the early 1990s, both Riverdale local elementary schools, P.S. 24 and P.S. 81, scored near the top in the city on standardized tests. The local middle school sent thousands of children to New York’s specialized high schools — the best indicator of how successfully a community deals with its best and brightest. Typically, over 100 children each year went on to the nearby Bronx High School of Science. (more…)

13th October
2006

First Published in The New York Sun, October 13, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

The dustup at the Bronx High School of Science between the principal and the parents of Korean-American students has drawn the attention of Richard Condon, the special investigator for the New York City School District, who is “looking into” the controversy. My suspicion is that he won’t find the kind of crime here that leads to indictments, but rather a pattern of incompetence and insensitivity by school administrators.

Parents of the approximately 300 students of Korean background at the school long wondered why there were no course offerings in the Korean language.There is a full language program in both Chinese and Japanese offered by the school that fulfills high school requirements. The Korean parents wondered why a similar program hadn’t been made available in their language. (more…)

6th October
2006

First Published in The New York Sun, October 6, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

Angry parents of Korean-American students at the elite Bronx High School of Science have confronted school officials over the failure to implement a full-fledged foreign-language program in their native tongue.

The leaders of the school’s Korean Parents Association, which looks after the interests of an estimated 300 Korean-American students, say they have been deceived into raising more than $100,000, very little of which has gone to fulfill what they believe was a firm promise to establish such a program. (more…)

25th August
2006

First Published in The New York Sun, August 25, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

Efforts to reform our public education system received a blow recently when a federal court reopened a challenge to the testing procedure the State of New York requires as part of the certification process for new teachers. In question is whether the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test is job related. A disproportionate number of black and Hispanic teachers and prospective teachers failed this exam. The complaint is that the city discriminated against those removed from the classroom after failing the test. As the court considers the concerns of the city, state and aggrieved former teachers, the interests of schoolchildren are ignored.

I have had some contact with this exam. My son is a teacher, and took the test four years ago. I was shocked when I first saw this exam. Shocked not because I found it difficult and unfair, but rather amazed at just how easy it was. (more…)

19th July
2002

First Published in The New York Sun,  July 19, 2002
By Andrew Wolf

The city’s school test scores were finally released last week: a real mixed bag of results that almost defy analysis. If you look at the scores from the side, and twist your head in just the right way, they might just look pretty good. Come around from the other side and they’re awful. Is your child’s school going up or going down? There are few clear answers coming from these scores, released much later than we normally see them. These results are so totally and completely confusing that it is hard to believe that they are not that way by design. They can and are being interpreted in so many ways that all of the educational players will point to them to justify whatever self-congratulatory point they want to make.

Harold Levy, the lame-duck chancellor and self-appointed spin-meister, tries to put the lipstick on the pig. Math is up, he squeals. Meanwhile, his new boss, Mayor Bloomberg, damns him with the faintest of praise and also points to disastrous results in eighth grade reading. Mr. Bloomberg is a lot closer to the bleak truth. (more…)