Posts Tagged ‘Diane Ravitch’

1st November
2008

First Published on the Public Advocate’s Corner October 29, 2008

By Andrew Wolf

Shortly after I began writing a regular column for The New York Sun six-and-a-half years ago, the mayor was given control of the New York City public schools. During that period I have written around two hundred columns on the schools, most of which discuss various aspects of mayoral control.

I am by nature a skeptical fellow, and the story of the educational “reform” that has taken place since then has given me much to be skeptical about. Unfortunately, last month the Sun published its final issue, so now is as good a time as any to reflect on this remarkable story that I have followed since the beginning.

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14th September
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, September 14, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

Most students in New York City returned to school last week. No matter what type of school they attend the biggest change they have seen in recent years is not in the classroom, where more often than not teachers follow the same failed methodologies that, over recent years, have brought American instruction to its present sorry state.

Nor are the changes in school governance of much significance to their young lives. The most common mistake public policy types make is equating educational reform with structural change. Experience suggests that rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic will not change the outcome.

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16th March
2007

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

By Andrew Wolf

When the founding fathers chose the Latin phrase E Pluribus Unum — out of many, one — as the national motto, an event that took place concurrent with the 13 colonies declaring their independence, the intent was to dramatize the reality that these 13 separate entities had indeed come together as one.

Over time, the motto, which cannot be found in any classical Latin text, has been used to describe the America that evolved from the immigrant experience. (more…)

30th October
2006

First Published in The New York Sun, October 30, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

The mayor’s path to education reform has hit a speed bump.

Despite mixed results on standardized test scores, many among the city’s elite, including the editorial boards of many newspapers and top business leaders, have accepted the Bloomberg/Klein education reforms as largely successful.

But one important group has suddenly emerged as a key threat to the mayor’s hegemony over education — the city’s public school parents. If history offers any lessons, parents more often than not seem to win political battles over the schools. (more…)

26th May
2006

First Published in The New York Sun, May 26, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

There can be no doubt that Deborah Meier and Diane Ravitch are two of the most influential figures in American education today. But usually not to the same people. Their philosophies are so different that it would seem impossible for them to find common ground.Yet, in an article in the new issue of Education Week, that is what they did.

Ms. Meier is a central figure of the small school movement. She believes that things like curriculum are best decided school-by-school and is at home among the so-called “progressive” educators who believe in the “child-centered” approach by which students are to construct their own knowledge, facilitated, but not directly taught, by a teacher. Tests? Ms. Meier seems never to have found one of which she wasn’t suspicious. (more…)

30th August
2002

First Published in The New York Sun,  August 30, 2002
By Andrew Wolf

New schools chancellor Joel Klein’s newly assembled senior staff of educators seems to be mainly made up of familiar establishment figures. It is my opinion that unless there is a systemic change in what is taught in the classrooms, we cannot expect results will differ much from what we’ve seen for the past 20 years.
Readers of my column in these pages during the past few months are familiar with my criticism of the schools of education and foundations that have dictated the curricula taught and the methodology followed by our public schools. Others, coming from very different places than myself, seem to agree.
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