Posts Tagged ‘Richard Condon’

4th January

First Published in The New York Sun, January 4, 2008

By Andrew Wolf

On Tuesday, elementary school pupils in the city will sharpen their number two pencils and sit down for two or three days of the state’s English language arts test. The following Tuesday, it will be the turn of middle school students.

The stakes couldn’t be higher. Not so much for the students, since only a small proportion in only some grades are held back, despite the city’s policy of “ending” social promotion. The real pressure is on the principals and teachers to “perform.”


12th June

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…)

13th October

First Published in The New York Sun, October 13, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

The dustup at the Bronx High School of Science between the principal and the parents of Korean-American students has drawn the attention of Richard Condon, the special investigator for the New York City School District, who is “looking into” the controversy. My suspicion is that he won’t find the kind of crime here that leads to indictments, but rather a pattern of incompetence and insensitivity by school administrators.

Parents of the approximately 300 students of Korean background at the school long wondered why there were no course offerings in the Korean language.There is a full language program in both Chinese and Japanese offered by the school that fulfills high school requirements. The Korean parents wondered why a similar program hadn’t been made available in their language. (more…)