Posts Tagged ‘New Visions’

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…)

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…)

12th March
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, March 12, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

Tomorrow afternoon, the members of the Legislature will gather in joint session to make four critical appointments to one of the state’s most important panels, the Board of Regents. The board controls virtually all aspects of education, including the appointment of the education commissioner.

The much-criticized concept of “three men in a room” — the governor, the speaker of the Assembly and the Senate majority leader — looks downright democratic next to the process by which our regents are chosen. This process can be called “one man in a room.” Even so, that one man, Speaker Sheldon Silver, is willing to let party hacks, or even lobbyists, recommend candidates to sit on this critical board. (more…)

24th November
2006

First Published in The New York Sun, November 24, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

If New Yorkers were hoping that on day one of Governor Spitzer’s first term everything would change, a close inspection of the membership of his transition committees — named last week — will surely quell their hopes, particularly regarding education.

If this education panel emerges as an influence on the new administration, expect education reform in the Empire State to lag. New York spends too much for meager results in its K-12 programs, pays lip service to academic standards, and is home to a state university that barely registers on the national academic radar screen. (more…)

23rd June
2006

First Published in The New York Sun, June 23, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

William H. Gates III, the chairman of the Microsoft Corporation, announced last week that he will be phasing out his day-to-day involvement running the company he founded, in order to increase his participation in his charitable enterprises.

Mr. Gates comes from a household that loves to give away money, so much so that he and his father, William H. Gates II, have raised loud support for the reinstatement of the federal estate tax. It seems that to the Gateses it doesn’t matter much how it goes out the door, as long as their money doesn’t stick around littering the house. (more…)

6th September
2002

First Published in The New York Sun,  September 6, 2002
By Andrew Wolf

I was pleased to hear from schools chancellor Joel Klein this week thanking me for sending him a copy of professor E.D. Hirsch Jr.’s book, “The Schools We Need and Why We Don’t Have Them.” He reports that he read it and “found it to be helpful.”  Unfortunately, before he read it he hired as his chief educator former Providence, R.I. schools superintendent Diana Lam, who, early evidence suggests, faces 180 degrees from Mr. Hirsch. Now all I can suggest is that he lend the book to Ms. Lam.

This book would make better reading than the National Education Association’s self-flagellating curriculum for 9/11, a document that reflects the “progressive” philosophy that dominates the educational establishment. I suspect that this missive would be more to Ms. Lam’s liking. (more…)

18th June
2002

First Published in The New York Sun,  June 18, 2002
By Andrew Wolf

The city may be short of money, but now that Mayor Bloomberg has been given control over the public schools, there will be one resource he’ll have in abundance — advice on how to run them.

Much of this advice will come from a source that I call the University-Institutional Complex, the group that really controls education in this town. Just as President Eisenhower warned us of the Military-Industrial Complex that drove up defense spending and shaped American foreign policy, the University-Institutional Complex controls much of what really goes on in the city’s classrooms. (more…)