Posts Tagged ‘Harold Levy’

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.
(more…)

16th August
2002

First Published in The New York Sun,  August 16, 2002
By Andrew Wolf

Incoming Schools Chancellor Joel Klein made a field trip on Wednesday to San Diego, where some say the schools are improving under the leadership of Chancellor Alan Bersin and his deputy, Anthony Alvarado. I’m told that this is a pilgrimage also made by Mr. Klein’s predecessor, Harold Levy, early in his tenure, obviously to little advantage.

Mr. Alvarado is a mythical figure in New York. He was considered a miracle worker in District 4, which covers East Harlem, when he was tapped to become the city’s first minority chancellor. But he quickly became embroiled in a bizarre financial scandal that led to an early exit. For years, there has been extensive “what if” speculation regarding his tenure. The truth is, he left too soon to fail. (more…)

2nd August
2002

First Published in The New York Sun,  August 2, 2002
By Andrew Wolf

Mayor Bloomberg may have thrown the educrats a curve ball when he named trust buster Joel Klein as the new chancellor of the city’s public schools. A parade of chancellors with an educational background have passed through New York in recent years and each has failed. The one non-educator among the recent chancellors, the thankfully departing Harold Levy, was very much a part of the city’s educational establishment, since he served as a member of the State Board of Regents before he took over at 110 Livingston Street. Given this history, I find Mr. Klein’s lack of educational experience a hopeful sign.

My advice to Joel Klein is to ignore for the most part the educational “experts” who theorize about running schools and teaching kids from the comfort and insulation of the central board bureaucracy, district office fiefdoms, schools of education, and private foundations. (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…)