Posts Tagged ‘Irma Zardoya’

25th March
2008

First Published in The New York Sun, March 25, 2005

By Andrew Wolf

Everyone in Gotham should be proud of 17-year-old David Bauer, the Hunter College High School senior who won the top prize in the national Intel Science Search competition. This is an achievement not just for David, but also for his family. After all, they had to work particularly hard to make sure that their son received the proper education in our public schools.


This was no small task. The families of bright children have to engage in what has become a sad New York ritual: school shopping for a gifted and talented program. There are few programs remaining after nearly a half century of increasing “progressive” influence on our schools. These programs for academically advanced children are now “elitist” and damage the self-esteem of those who do not qualify.The answer is to drive all children into some egalitarian middle ground.
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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 April
2007

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

By Andrew Wolf

Despite the angry rhetoric being bandied about, charter school enthusiasts have every reason to be happy. The number of charters has been doubled. That’s a lot, considering that it took almost a decade to exhaust the 100 charters provided for by the initial legislation, some of the original charters proved to be awful, and the jury is out on many others.

The granting of a charter to run a school — at the taxpayer’s expense — is no small privilege. Young lives hang in the balance. Giving permission to some entity to educate children should be considered with the same seriousness with which we charter a hospital or health care facility. There’s a feeling out there that anyone can run a school, even lawyers or politicians, certainly the last people I would look to in any quest for excellence. (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…)

25th May
2006

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

By Andrew Wolf

Public schools in Riverdale may again get gifted and talented programs following a meeting between the schools chancellor, Joel Klein, and parents in the Bronx.

The chancellor traveled to Riverdale Tuesday evening, fulfilling a long-standing promise to speak to the Education Committee of Bronx Community Board 8. A few weeks ago, the issue of gifted and talented programs,long festering in the background, took center stage. (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…)

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…)

7th May
2002

First Published in The New York Sun,  May 7, 2002
By Andrew Wolf

Adequate funding is important to the school system to be sure. But over $12 billion goes to the schools annually, and spending has risen dramatically in recent years with little, if any, visible improvement. What is really happening to our education dollars?

A close examination of how the system works reveals that it is not enough to merely ship more dollars to a system incapable of effectively spending the dollars they already have. Those who suggest that more funding alone is the answer would be well advised to “follow the money trail.” They will learn that there are many detours on the long and winding path to the classroom. (more…)