Posts Tagged ‘Mayor Bloomberg’

5th October
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, October 5, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

Governor Spitzer’s proposal to ease identification requirements for a New York State driver’s license is turning into an astounding pile-up. I can appreciate the arguments on both sides of the issue. The Motor Vehicle Bureau is ill-equipped to enforce immigration laws, but should we be officially validating the identity of individuals who are here illegally?

The problem comes from the custom we have developed in the United States of using a driver’s license as a de facto national identity card. This predates September 11, 2001. The license is often required when cashing checks, buying alcoholic beverages, purchasing tobacco products, or even registering to vote.

(more…)

28th September
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, September 28, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

There wasn’t much to celebrate when the National Assessment of Educational Progress test results disclosed earlier this week.

The news wasn’t particularly good nationally, with scores that were largely flat as compared with the results two years ago, deflating some of the president’s arguments as America reconsiders the No Child Left Behind law.

Nor was there much positive news here in the Empire State.

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10th August
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, August 10, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

It isn’t a good thing when the power and influence of a new governor peaks before he takes office, but that appears to be exactly what has happened to Eliot Spitzer. A year ago he was the inevitable governor, poised to crush one of the more attractive Democrats to come forward in many years, Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi, in a primary election.

The GOP standard bearer, John Faso, a former assemblyman, was a victim of 12 years of increasingly lackluster performance by the Republican incumbent, George Pataki. The conventional wisdom, months before the election, was that Mr. Spitzer was not just the inevitable governor, but the inevitable president, sure to become the nation’s first Jewish chief executive after being elected (a mere formality) in 2012 or, at worst in 2016. (more…)

6th August
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, August 6, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

During the past five years, I have written extensively in this space on all sorts of high-minded educational topics. I have discussed instruction, standards, and testing, both in a general way, and as it pertains to our schools right here in Gotham.

Yet our City Council never seems to address any of the issues I raise. It is true that they don’t control the schools, the mayor does, but they do have a big say over the budget and, as a former education committee chairwoman, Eva Moskowitz, proved, has quite a bully pulpit. (more…)

3rd August
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, August 3, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

What are parents of at least six children from Riverdale to think about the process by which their five- and six-year-olds will be excluded from their local elementary school?

The sin of the six tots seems to be they’re smart enough to be called “gifted and talented,” but not quite smart enough. They had scores that qualified them for participation in the Department of Education’s new gifted and talented program but missed the cutline, a score of 354, that would have permitted them to participate in the gifted class at P.S. 24, their neighborhood elementary school. (more…)

13th July
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, July 13, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

We’re coming down the home stretch on the congestion pricing mini-marathon. If there is anything that characterizes the Bloomberg style of governance, it is his absolute confidence that his vision for the city’s future is the correct, indeed, the only vision.

Since his vision includes congestion pricing, a radical idea that would normally demand extensive debate, anyone opposing it must, at worst, have some sinister motivation, and, at best, be an idiot.

(more…)

9th July
2007

First Published in the New York Sun July 9, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

The announcement of a new secondary school, to be opened in September 2009, a school “that will use game design and game-inspired methods to teach critical 21st-century skills and literacies,” bears comment.

This new “Fun and Games School,” as I have named it (it has no official name as of now), is sponsored by a non-profit group, the Gamelab Institute of Play, “that leverages games and play as transformative contexts for learning and creativity.” (more…)

12th June
2007

First Published by The New York Sun, June 12, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

As the schools chancellor joined in the announcement of a federal grant to test whether merit pay can lift performance in charter schools, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education confirmed that an investigation of test results was under way in a high-profile school in which the principal benefited from such a merit pay program.

The school is P.S. 33 in the Bronx. Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein traveled to the school in 2005 to announce their “historic” gains on the fourth-grade reading tests. That year P.S. 33 experienced a one-year gain of nearly 50 points; 83% of the students there were, according to the mayor, then reading at or above grade level. This not only helped the mayor win re-election but it won a $15,000 bonus for the school’s principal, Elba Lopez. (more…)

11th May
2007

First Published by The New York Sun, May 11, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

The chancellor’s announcement on Monday of the implementation of the mayor’s Fair School Funding initiative sounded wonderful — on the surface. Chancellor Klein declared, “Our new Fair Student Funding formula will help us level the financial playing field, making sure that all schools receive what they need to educate their students, so all schools can be held to the same high standards.”

In reality, this plan will come back to haunt Mr. Bloomberg, the next mayor, and the taxpayers. Recent history tells us that it is unlikely that students will benefit from more funds and that some may suffer from what looks a lot like income redistribution. (more…)

4th May
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, May 4, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

After last night’s GOP presidential debate, speculation is growing that Mayor Bloomberg is running for president, a prospect that is as incredible in 2007 as his initial run for mayor was in 2000.

What is the scenario that would lead to such a campaign?

Aides suggest that if the candidates of the two major parties tilt to “extremes,” the mayor would enter the fray as a “centrist” alternative. It may come as a shock to the mayor that in much of America, he is not perceived as a centrist. He has clearly earned his stripes as a liberal. (more…)

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